What would the world be like without sauce?
Recently, my not-so-little brother and I were discussing this very question. We agreed that a world without sauce would be a dismal place indeed.
Terms like ‘devoid of sauce’, ‘sauceless’, and ‘un-saucy’ were bandied about. Not exactly a pretty picture.
So today I wanted to have a little ‘celebration of sauce’ and share with you my top 12 favourite sauce recipes. Including the recipe for a ‘nut sauce’. Don’t worry, it’s much tastier than it sounds.
Top 12 Favourite Sauces
Is it a dip? Is it a sauce? Is it a spread? There are few things more versatile, delicious or healthy than this Middle Eastern classic. And even better, it’s a synch to make using canned chickpeas.
2. home made mayonnaise
After mastering the art of making mayonnaise in the food processor, without it splitting, mayo consumption has definitely increased in my house. These days I often substitute half the oil for melted butter to make a no-stir ‘cheat’s’ hollondaise. Dangerously addictive.
3. ‘nut’ sauce [recipe below]
Excuse the ‘dodgy’ name for this sauce. I’ve been writing ‘template recipes’ this month for the Master Your Meal Plan class at the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School and it’s got me thinking of all recipes in general terms.
It’s actually a really lovely sauce inspired by the Turkish sauce, ‘tarator’. Similar to hummus but a little more complex with the lovely nutty flavour. Traditionally served with fish but lovely anywhere you need a creamy, nutty sauce with a bit of a kick.
4. chilli oil
I pretty much always have a bottle of chilli oil in the fridge. Great for adding instant heat to dishes in need of a little help. It’s also a wonderful sauce in its own right to serve with chicken, pan fried halloumi or even a simple pasta. My Irishman love it with his morning eggs and avocado.
5. BBQ sauce
THE best sauce to have on hand for BBQ season. Great with anything from steak to ribs to chicken.
6. yoghurt sauce
This is the simplest of sauces. Get yourself a good quality natural yoghurt, season generously with salt and pepper. And hey presto.. instant sauce.
A healthier alternative to mayonnaise, it’s heavenly with falaffels, fish, chicken or roast lamb.
7. sicilian nut pesto
A wonderful dairy-free pesto.
8. almond cream
A slightly more unusual sauce, this was inspired by one of my favourite Melbourne restaurants – Cumulus Inc. I first served it with roast pork and carrots and have since used it as a more interesting option than mayonnaise. Great with roast cauliflower and chickpeas.
9. walnut & white bean puree
This is a different take on hummus. Wonderful with grilled or roast veg as a sauce / mash accompaniment.
A super simple version of the classic Moroccan hot sauce. A little goes a long way. Best to serve on the side so everyone can add depending on their own heat tolerance.
11. beetroot pesto
I just LOVE this sauce, so don’t let the thought that it’s come in at number 11 put you off. Basically the idea is to replace the fresh basil leaves in pesto with cooked beetroot. Just heavenly. Would win the award for the ‘prettiest sauce’.
cashew ‘nut sauce’
makes about 1 cup
This sauce is super versatile and can be used pretty much anywhere you’d use hummus. It’s especially good with steamed green veg or with fish.
This sauce is a little tricky to make if you don’t have a food processor. Try using pre-ground nuts or nut meal and finely chopping the garlic before stirring everything together. Add the water a little at a time.
200g (7oz) cashews
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor with 1/2 cup water.
2. Whizz until you have a creamy sauce. Taste. Season.
budget – swap some or all of the nuts for torn chunks of rustic bread. Sourdough is great.
nut-free – replace nuts with cooked or canned legumes such as cannellini beans, butter beans or chickpeas. You might need a little more or less vinegar.
no sherry vinegar? – Use lemon juice or other wine vinegars. Rice vinegar is great.
different nuts – pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts (or use peanut butter with less water). So many options.
video version of the recipe