I know some people are perfectly content to munch away on a big ol' stalk of raw broccoli, but I need a little more encouragement in the veggie-eating arena. Luckily, Lucky Peach has compiled a list of twelve flavour-blasted pantry items to add depth, texture, and taste to all of your favourite vegetables.
Photo by Gwen.
Click the link below for in-depth descriptions and recipe ideas, but this should get you started:
- Bread Crumbs: Whether you make your own of grab a can of the store-bought stuff, bread crumbs are a great way to add crispy texture.
- Chilli Crisp: This mixture of fried chillis and crunchy little soybeans packs a ton of savoury, onion-y, spicy goodness.
- Capers: These little pickled berries of briney delight belong in your next salad.
- Curry Leaves: These leaves "impart a citrusy and resinous aroma and flavour that's pretty much incomparable to any other herb" and — according to Lucky Peach — they should make an appearance in your next carrot dish.
- Little Fish: Tiny fishes (whether they be whole or in delicious fish sauce) are a quick and easy way to impart a ton of complex, salty, umami-packed flavour to any vegetable, roasted or raw.
- Garlic: I don't think I need to tell you why garlic is on here.
- Hing: This dried and ground plant resin has a fairly intense odor, but push past that and you'll be greeted with a "very umami" condiment that "quite literally adds what tastes like another dimension of flavour to a dish."
- Kombu: Add this super savoury kelp to your veggie broth to dial up the flavour in a major way.
- Dried Shiitakes: Like kombu above, these dehydrated shrooms boost broth in matter of minutes.
- Miso: A miso compound butter is the best fried of roasted vegetables, and it absolutely sings in hummus.
- Soy Sauce: Lucky Peach recommends usukuchi soy sauce, which is a "lighter-flavored and slightly saltier soy sauce that's got extra stuff in it." (The "extra stuff" is a sweetener and mirin.)
- Vinegar: A quick hit of acid can really brighten up a green, and I always have at least four different types of vinegar around at any given time.
- The "Power Triangle": If all else fails, you can always fall back on fat, salt, and acid. A drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and even a few flakes of some fancy salt can transform vegetables (or grains, or anything, really) from "meh" to "craveable."
In addition to the above tastiness, I'd also like to add nutritional yeast and Parmesan to the list, because anything that can get me excited about kale deserves a mention.
The Power Vegetable Pantry [Lucky Peach]