How To Cook With Summer’s Hottest New Ingredients | sheerluxe.com
Here at SL, our job is to curate life be it fashion or food. So, contributing food editor, Chloe Scott-Moncrieff, asked five UK chefs what ingredients they always rely on…
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1. Shichimi Togarashi

Move over salt and pepper, the surge in spicy rubs across the UK is massive. One such blend now available in Waitrose is Shichimi Togarashi, a piquant Japanese mix of red pepper, chilli, orange zest and ginger. A firm favourite of Yotam Ottolenghi, it’s currently on the menu at his feted restaurant ROVI in London’s Fitzrovia, the winner dish being the padron peppers with almond cream and togarashi.  

Quick and easy ideas:

  • Sprinkle over veg, steamed rice or eggs on bagels and there’s no going back.
  • To pep up salmon for supper, add a pinch of the Shichimi with a slurp of olive oil and roast the fillet for 15 minutes until cooked.

Available at Waitrose.com

2. Pide

Pide is the new pizza. You’ll find foodies nibbling on this Turkish flatbread piled with goodness in modish restaurants from Selin Kiazim’s beautiful Turkish restaurant Oklava to Alan Yau’s Babaji, soon to open in High Street Kensington.

Quick and easy ideas:

  • For a knockout flavour combo, Sarit Packer instructs, “Serve them topped with fig and feta to evoke holidays to Turkey and Greece.”
  • For another bliss nutrient-packed topping, fry a little onion and mincemeat (lamb or beef), cumin, salt and pepper. When cooked through, you can sprinkle in chopped spinach and feta.  Place some yoghurt aside in a bowl with chopped mint, a finely chopped spring onion and black pepper. A cheeky dash of pomegranate molasses wouldn’t go amiss if you’ve some in the larder. 

Available at Ocado.com

3. Za’atar

Za’atar has marched on the menu in the UK with the brand Zaytoun trailblazing everywhere, from Planet Organic to Selfridges. Defining this herb-cum-spice, Israeli chef Sarit Packer from London’s Honey & Smoke explains, “it’s a tangy mix of dried wild thyme, sumac, sesame and oil,” used prolifically in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Quick and easy ideas:

  • “Za’atar is excellent sprinkled in salads; or a bowl of tzatziki and a bowl of za’atar for dipping bread; or you’ll get great results roasting a whole chicken in it.”  Whisk together za'atar, olive oil, a little crushed garlic, salt and pepper, slather on the meat and roast. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.
  • At 26 Grains, chef Alex Hely-Hutchinson rustles up a quick lunch like this: “Chop some fresh sweet summer tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, salt and a good helping of za’atar.” Add to flatbread.

Available at Ocado.com

4. Seaweed

Who knew Jamie Oliver’s secret trick to shedding several stones a few years back was seaweed? It comes in numerous shapes and sizes as you’ll see on the beach, but hot in the shops are seaweed flakes and nori, the sheets used in sushi.

Quick and easy ideas:

  • For flavour bombs in salad, dress your rocket, sprinkle chopped tomatoes, capers, a smattering of red onion and a chopped boiled egg, then scatter the seaweed flakes for a salty umami explosion - umami is the moreish savory meaty taste we find so addictive.
  • A natty tricky by Michelin starred KitchenTable’s legendary Sandia Chang is: “Blend it into a powder and use it as a seasoning on top of roast potatoes or rice.”

Available at Ocado.com

5. Aromatic herbs 

Okay, we’re all familiar with basil and thyme. But tarragon, coriander and sorrel unequivocally add vim and vigour too. While coriander adds a cooling note to spicy food, sorrel has a moreist tart green tanginess, tangoing well with veg, shrimps and mackerel. Tarragon leaves are happy with salads and seafood.

Quick and easy ideas:

  • For an earthy zesty kick, coriander leaf and cumin are the best partners. Sprinkle them over roasted cauliflower, or a simple chickpea stew.
  • Blitz sorrel or coriander with a couple of garlic cloves, olive oil and salt and black pepper. In seconds you’ve a supper for kings by drizzling over tomatoes, salads and seafood.
  • Blend cooked peas, still warm, with tarragon, rocket, a nudge of olive oil, garlic and salt. Serve on sourdough, stir through rice with caramelised halloumi and green beans, or it enlivens couscous too.

Available at Ocado.com

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