Spicy Tuesday – Quick Pickle – Turmeric
Isn’t it fun to find new ways to use familiar foods? We love it. This recipe is full of ingredients you may buy in the store often, like cucumbers, Dijon mustard, and green onions. It also includes a few that you may not be purchase often, like toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds.
Both of these ingredients come from the flowering sesame plant, one of the oldest oilseed crops in the world – domesticated well over 3000 years ago. Wow! This power packed plant seed has one of the highest oil contents of any seed. You may be most familiar with sesame seeds as a component in hummus and other Middle Eastern dishes. In Asia, both the oil and the seeds are commonly used, for garnish, preparation and cooking of indigenous cuisine. We are must familiar with off-white sesame seeds here in the US, but other colors like tan, gold, reddish and black are also grown.
Toasted Sesame Oil, is just what it sounds like: oil from sesame seeds that have been toasted, enhancing their nutty aroma and taste. Make sure to use this delicious oil as finishing oil, without cooking it over high heat. Heat makes the wonderful flavor of the oil dissipate quickly.
Did you notice the gorgeous yellow color of the pickles? That’s from the turmeric we used in the recipe! We love turmeric because it is a powerhouse spice with many health benefits. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and it is known as an excellent anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant and anti-carcinogen. It is important to note that you can enhance the absorption of the spice by adding black pepper and a healthy fat to the meal. (In this dish the fat is the EVOO.) Turmeric, even in little amounts added into your daily foods can make a difference. Begin with this great snack as a great start to further experimenting with our favorite spice!
Quick Pickles with Flavor!
3 Seedless Cucumbers, cut into rounds
½ Cup Toasted Sesame Oil
1 TB EVOO
1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar
½ Tsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
½ Tsp Turmeric
½ Cup Sesame Seeds
1½ Tsp Sea Salt
½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
½ Cup Chopped Green Onions, green parts only
Step One Whisk together the sesame oil, evoo, vinegar, pepper , mustard and turmeric together in a bowl. Add the cucumbers and toss well – let stand for 10 minutes in the sauce.
Step Two Combine the sesame seeds, salt and red pepper flakes in a mini food processor and pulse to chop. Add to the cucumber mixture and toss. Serve as a salad, side or top a cracker or a romaine leaf or tomato or use in a sandwich or….. Garnish with green onions.