Give your dishes a flavour boost with these 7 simple ingredients…
The Great British Food team
When you feel like a dish needs more salt, try adding lemon first - it often does the trick. A spritz of lemon juice can make an otherwise dull recipe sing, adding that little ‘je ne sais quoi’ when you can’t put your finger on what’s needed. Lemon counteracts salt and vice versa – so if you’ve overdone one add some of the other. Rolling a lemon firmly under the palm of the hand renders the juice easier to extract.
Frozen Chopped Onions
These are a godsend when time is short, cutting down on prep time - and tears! Though more expensive than using fresh onions, a bag in the freezer comes in very handy for emergencies, especially as onion is the base flavour of myriad recipes.
A dollop of mustard (English, Dijon or wholegrain/seedy) injects a deep indefinable savoury flavour to many recipes, including stews, casseroles, sauces and dressings. It also enhances and brings out the flavour of cheese and so should be added to the base of cheese sauces.
Dried Chilli Flakes & Aleppo Pepper (aka Pul Biber)
Though the former are hot, used gingerly they can be added to many recipes for just a hint of heat and are thus indiscernible as actual ‘chilli’, yet bring a lot to the dish. Aleppo pepper, conversely, is a mild/moderately hot slightly salty and fruity chilli spice with a delicious flavour. Sprinkled on eggs, pizza, grilled meat, pulses, dips, shellfish, avocado and open sandwiches it enhances them greatly.
Its long shelf life, combined with an intense savoury taste and vivid red colour, makes this a great standby for adding flavour to other store-cupboard ingredients for very simple speedy lunches or suppers. Sliced and fried it makes the base of a tasty pasta sauce; the same when combined with tinned pulses and is very good with fish. Try it fried for brunch with some eggs.
Fresh or dried, these are a wonderful and complimentary flavour addition to almost anything, and the former, for garnishing as well. Herbs can generally be mixed and matched in recipes according to which ones you have available. Top Tip - rolling fresh herbs up in damp kitchen paper or newspaper, returning them to the bag in which they came (or another bag) to keep in the moisture, will extend their life considerably and in some cases up to a week or more.
This is a seriously delicious all-purpose savoury seasoning. Plant-based and gluten-free, it is vegetable umami and can be used to make broth, or to enhance the flavour of almost any recipes, plant-based or otherwise. I wouldn’t be without a bottle of this magic. Available online.