Do you ever have those weeks where you don’t feel like cooking at all? Despite the fact that I love cooking, I have them quite often, and this is one of those weeks. I started off with the best of intentions and a fridge full of veggies, but have found myself lacking inspiration and motivation. It is times like these where I make a jar of some kind of sauce, and eat it over vegetables, salad and rice all week. Enter the Magic Sauce.
Why is this sauce magic, you ask? Well, firstly it goes with so many things, over salads, in tacos and arepas, over rice and beans and even as a dipping sauce for corn chips or fried things. I can basically cook some rice, top it with tinned black beans and a super quick slaw and drown it with this stuff and call it dinner. Bam. The next day I can throw some avocado and grilled oyster mushrooms into an arepa or taco, and bam, another dinner. Day 3, salad, and so on. A jar of sauce turns a sad pile of vegetables into a meal. Secondly, it’s the only way I can eat coriander.
Yes, that’s right, I’m one of those. A non-coriander eater. That fresh green herb that people like to throw on everything, ruining otherwise perfectly good meals, is the bane of my existence. It’s everywhere, and unavoidable. People tell me how great it is, how important it is to so many dishes, how perfectly it finishes off this or that, and I am jealous, because I taste nothing but soap. Until this sauce. There’s something about this combination that hides the soap taste. Like magic.
Now, you might wonder why a coriander hater like me would even bother trying to hide the taste so I can put it into food. Why not just leave it out? Well, 99.99% of the time I do, but I’m trying to build up a tolerance for those unfortunate mouthfuls of pho where coriander stems are masked as julienned spring onion, and I also acknowledge that the unique, fresh taste of coriander is sometimes, although very rarely, irreplaceable. Particularly in latin cuisine, tangy, herby flavours are so important, and my go-to combo of parsley, mint and oregano doesn’t always cut it. And so, I created this sauce, originally inspired by the fiery green sauce at Zambrero’s, but far less spicy so it can be used in abundance. It’s also much creamier, because yum.
And so, here it is. The next lazy week, I’ll share my dragon sauce recipe, and we can all eat dragon bowls until the urge to make a four course dinner overwhelms us.
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked a few hours, rinsed and drained
1/4 -1/3 cup lime juice (to taste)
1/4 to 1/2 cup water (depending on how thick you want it)
Scant 1/4 cup neutral tasting oil
1 tbsp plus 1tsp apple cider vinegar
2 -3 tsp agave nectar (to taste)
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1/2 white onion, peeled
1 tsp sea salt
1 jalapeño chilli from a jar (or more if you want a really spicy sauce)
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, plus a little extra
1/4 cup fresh coriander
1 sprig fresh mint (leaves only)
1. Place all ingredients except for the herbs into a high powered blender and blend until totally smooth. Taste and add a little more lime juice, salt or water if required. Remember that once it gets cold, the flavours will be half as strong.
2. Add the herbs and pulse or blend for a short burst until the sauce is green but lots of little flecks of herbs are still visible. Don’t blend it so long that it turns into an homogenous green, because unless it’s for halloween it’s not appealing. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until chilled. It is now ready to use and will keep at least 5 days.