One of my pantry item, which is a flavor booster is olive tapenade.
This is great on baguettes, crackers and veggies.
And did you know it also turns boring dishes to something brilliant with a bright flavor? It adds a lot of umami, the 5th taste (the other five are: salty, sour, sweet, bitter).
You can use it where you use olives and more… I love using olive tapenade in my pasta, salad dressing, and you can top it on meat and fish, even crudo… Italian style sashimi.
You can buy this from the store, or make it easily when you have leftover olives. Basically it’s a mixture of good olives (I love Calamata or Nicoise olives), anchovies, a little bit of capers and garlic pureed with extra virgin olive oil. If your capers is in brine, add about a teaspoon of that liquid… if not, add about the same amount of lemon juice or vinegar. The exact amount doesn’t really matter. Create a spread that taste good to you.
Keep it in fridge, and it should keep about a month. You can also use this as a base, and add chopped tomatoes, nuts, herb, nuts etc. to expand the variety as you use it in different dishes.
Here are the list of resources about Umami:
- Umami Information Center website
- Even baby likes the taste of umami!
- List from the Wall St on 10 Umami boosters famous chefs are using
- Really cool podcast about umami… how to use it at home
What are your favorite flavor boosters? How do you used them? Why do you like them? Please share with us!