My favorites, though, are the ones I make myself, the homemade buttermilk dressing or lemon cream. If it feels fussy to make your own, consider that flavor-packed homemade condiments are also a fantastic shortcut for busy weeknight dinners. Make a quick batch of mayonnaise or aïoli while your kid takes a nap, and you’re treated to spectacular tomato sandwiches on Tuesday night. Homemade pesto turns 10 minutes’ worth of ordinary boiled pasta into a what’s-the-occasion treat, and romesco perks up absolutely everything, from seafood to grilled vegetables to chicken.
Or prep a batch of verdant chimichurri, the classic Argentine sauce of herbs, olive oil, and garlic, to serve over steamed halibut or grilled flank steak for lots of flavor in not a lot of time. (Seriously, would you look at those directions? A three-minute recipe, tops!) Chimichurri’s often used as a marinade before grilling, another great use, and like any self-respecting condiment it’s killer when served over a fried egg, the ultimate easy dinner.
adapted (liberally) from The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl, 2004
makes about 3/4 C
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 Tbsp shallot, chopped
- 1 1/2 C flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed
- 1/2 C fresh oregano, loosely packed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- few cracks of ground pepper
- 1/4 C + 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
In a food processor, pulse the garlic cloves and shallot until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients until puréed; the sauce will have a slightly rough texture. Serve over grilled flank steak.