Mustard greens are usually paired with bacon, or fatty pork of some kind, and there’s no argument here that it’s not a delicious combination. But the pungent mustard flavor in these dark, leafy greens is also a fine side with fatty salmon –
especially when the two are brought together with a bright honey-mustard vinaigrette.
The honey mustard vinaigrette is used two ways here, as a topping for the salmon before it cooks and as a warm sauce when the dish is served (you’ll also have a little leftover to use on a salad later in the week). This slightly sweet, tangy vinaigrette will go well with any dark leafy green so it’s a great one to whip up when your CSA box is over-stuffed with kale, mustard greens, spinach or the like. Since dark green leafy vegetables are considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, it’s a shame to let them wilt away in your refrigerator.
Nori is known and loved as a wrap for sushi, but you don’t need a gob of rice to enjoy the mild-flavored, toasted sheets of seaweed. Toasted nori sheets can be ground into powder (a coffee grinder works well for this) and the powder can sprinkled liberally as a seasoning for meat, seafood, vegetables, sauces and dressings. In other words, if you like the flavor of seaweed you can add nori powder to just about anything.
Like other types of sea vegetables, nori is a good source of healthy minerals, so the more ways you have to add it to your diet, the better. Mash nori powder up with butter (and melt it over meat and roasted veggies), blend it with sea salt, or, follow this recipe and whisk nori into a vinaigrette.
This vibrant green sauce is such a simple way to add a powerhouse green – watercress – to your diet. Make the sauce in your blender in a just few minutes by combining coconut milk with watercress, cilantro, green onion, garlic and ginger. Similar in flavor to a mild green curry, the sauce pairs especially well with fish but can also be served over chicken or red meat.
Watercress, with its fairly mild but peppery flavor, is an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamins A, B1 and B6, C, E and K, iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. It also contains a flavonoid called quercetin that might reduce inflammation.
Chorizo vinaigrette doesn’t have a lot of eye appeal, but the garlicky pork flavor is even better than bacon on a spinach salad. Add mushrooms, hard boiled egg and warm caramelized red onion to wilt the greens and the salad is plenty appetizing, even without a gorgeous dressing.
While it’s not a good idea to dress every salad with vinaigrette made from cured meat, this recipe only uses 2 ounces of high-quality salami and delivers a whole lot of flavor. If you’re spinach adverse, or vegetable adverse for that matter, maybe a drizzle of chorizo vinaigrette will help the veggies go down. Chorizo vinaigrette is also delicious over roasted vegetables, sautéed greens of any kind (and grilled seafood).
If you like the spicy, vinegary bite of pickled ginger, then it’s a condiment you easily could, and should, make at home. Scan the labels of pickled ginger next time you’re at the grocery store and you’re likely to find ingredient lists that include artificial pink dye, aspartame or lots of sugar.
Using three ingredients at home – ginger, rice vinegar and honey – and a very simple method, you can make your own pickled ginger in about 20 minutes. Give it another 24 hours for flavor to develop and the pickled ginger is ready to eat. It keeps almost indefinitely, so just stash it in the refrigerator door with your other refrigerated condiments.
Dried fenugreek is a subtle but intriguing herb, one that adds unique flavor to sauces, meat, seafood, eggs and cooked vegetables. Slightly sweet, herbal and earthy with pleasant aromatics, it’s like adding a gentle hint of curry powder to whatever you make.
Less intense than curry powder and also less intense than fenugreek seeds or fresh fenugreek leaves, which can easily overwhelm a dish, dried fenugreek can be used in the kitchen just like any other type of dried herb. The flavor pairs especially well with other favorite herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel seeds and turmeric.