Irresistible Condiments

In Season,Summer
May 31, 2012

Every culture has its own condiments, which add personality and panache to food.

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I'm a condiment-a-holic. I can't help myself. Every time I go shopping, I buy another hot sauce, relish or spice mixture. As I walk down the sauce aisle, I see all the colorful bottles and condiments from around the world and think, which one of these do I want?

The popularity of condiments makes great sense, especially during the summer when we grill several times a week. That promotes drizzling, brushing and dousing simple foods with flavorful additions.

Every culture has its own condiments, which add personality and panache to food. Italians have pesto and gremolata made with orange or lemon peel, the French have rich olive tapenade, Mexicans have dozens of salsas, and the Indian culture offers chutneys and soothing yogurt-based raita.

The Moroccans make spicy herb-based chermoula and the Tunisians make harissa, a spicy red pepper puree. Latins are famous for green parsley and garlic chimmichurri sauce.

These dipping sauces are also good basting sauces perfect on almost anything grilled—from tofu to seafood. They all keep refrigerated at least two weeks. Make them at least a day prior to serving so their flavors can marry. Serve two or three together for variety. You can eliminate the hot stuff from these if you like a milder version.

 

—By Chef Steve Petusevsky

Cilantro Sauce

This heady condiment is wonderful on grilled tofu or fish.

Soothing Yogurt Mint Raita

Perfect for saucing grilled vegetables, especially eggplant, this minty sauce is cool and refreshing.

Diablo Dipping Sauce

Every culture has its own condiments, which add personality and panache to food. Here’s a Latin-inspired sauce for grilled veggies or tofu.

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