Elevate your Veggies: Ten Sassy Sauces

Posted by Boston Organics on Feb 25, 2024 2:43:26 PM

south american chimichurriIMG_6657

This bright, flavorful sauce, ubiquitous in South America, comes together quickly and easily from a handful of pantry ingredients such as red wine vinegar, garlic, and crushed red pepper, plus fresh herbs like parsley and oregano. Authentic version are made with a mortar and pestle but the food processor is your friend here, making this an easy weeknight addition that will surely elevate simple fish, chicken, meat or roasted vegetable dishes. Be sure to let it rest for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced jalapeño pepper
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar


 Combine oil, garlic, jalapeño and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small saucepan or skillet. Cook over low heat just until the garlic starts to sizzle, 2 to 4 minutes, but don't let it brown. Remove from heat and stir in oregano, thyme, water, vinegar and paprika. Cover and set aside.


indian cucumber raitaIMG_6696

Raita comes together quickly and can be used as a dip, sauce or even salad dressing. It's slightly rich and cooling nature helps temper the heat that may accompany Indian spiced dishes and roasted vegetables. 

  • one medium cucumber or 2-3 Persian cucumbers
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped mint leaves or cilantro
  • 2 1/2 cups full-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Grate cucumber with a box grater into small bowl. In medium bowl whisk yogurt with remaining ingredients, when smooth  stir in grated cucumber and season to taste with salt and pepper.


Greek TzatzikiIMG_6698

While similar to raita tzatziki tends to be thicker, contain garlic and serves a different purpose in Greek cuisine. It's there to add garlicky flavor and richness, not to cool your palate.  Strained or Greek yogurt is a must here in order to obtain the thick consistency that typifies Tzatziki.

  • one medium cucumber or 2-3 Persian cucumbers
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped mint leaves or dill, or more to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Grate cucumber with a box grater into small bowl. In medium bowl whisk yogurt with remaining ingredients, when smooth stir in grated cucumber and season to taste with salt and pepper.


scallion sauceScallion-Sauce

It may not be pretty but it sure is delicious on simple meats and fish, dolloped into soups, as a dressing for boiled or roasted vegetables, on noodles with vegetables, over fried rice....The uses are endless!

  • 1 cup peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 lb scallions, about 3-5 bunches
  • Kosher salt to taste

Heat oil in tall saucepan over medium-low heat

Wash and trim root ends from scallions. Cut into 1" pieces. Pulse 2/3 of scallions in food processor until finely minced. Add about 1 tsp of salt and pulse again until al most pureed. Carefully add mince/puree to hot oil (be careful of splatters). Raise heat to high and bring to boil, then turn down heat to a mellow sizzle. Cook, stirring every few minutes to ensure there's no sticking, but allowing scallions to caramelize, until scallions have turned army green, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile pulse remaining 1/3 scallions in food processor until finely minced. When scallions in oil have finished cooking add minced scallions and about 1 tsp salt, stir, bring to boil and remove from heat. Allow to cool and adjust salt as needed.

Store in a jar in the refrigerator, ensuring all solids are submerged in oil. Or freeze in ice cube trays for easy portioning. 


spanish RomescoIMG_6669

Made from roasted red peppers, charred tomatoes then thickened with almonds and bread and seasoned with chile, garlic, smoked paprika and red wine vinegar this versatile sauce from the Catalonia region of Spain is delicious with fish, chicken and vegetables. In fact some Spainards say that grilled or roasted vegetables are just an excuse for eating romesco.

  • 1 - 2 slices basic white bread, crusts removed and lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • One jar roasted peppers or 2 medium - large red peppers roasted and peeled
  • One good sized tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt to taste

Process bread, almonds, and garlic until coarsely chopped. Add paprika, cayenne and 1/2 tsp salt and process until finely chopped. Add peppers, tomatoes, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Pulse until smooth and mixture has texture similar to mayonnaise. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Allow to stand for an hour before serving to allow flavors to meld. Will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.


Chinese Chile CrispIMG_6678

We love chile crisp drizzled into dumpling soups, over scrambled eggs, onto roasted vegetables: with tofu; brushed onto fish before baking or roasting; as a dipping sauce for chicken. The uses are endless! And while there are numerous recipes online for those DIY-ers out there (you know who you are)  we elect to buy commercially prepared chile crisp. That way we're ready to elevate a dish at a moment's notice as opposed to spending the many hours it takes to create from scratch. Trader Joe's had a nice version as does Fly by Jing and any Asian grocery store will have a number of varieties so you can figure out your fav.

Middle eastern Tahini Sauce

Rich, creamy, smooth, nutty and tangy tahini sauce is the Middle East's equivalent to putting gravy on your vegetables or dolloping them with butter. It goes with everything from falafel to fresh vegetables - for dipping or as salad dressing, to roasted vegetables. Tahini sauce comes together quickly, no more than a few minutes and will last a few days in the refrigerator.

  • 1/2 cup tahini, well stirred
  • 1/4 freshly squeezed lemon juice,
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced or grated, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup ice water water, or more for desired consistency
  • Optional additions: 1 tsp dijon mustard, freshly chopped parsley, dill or cilantro, yogurt to taste

Place tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt in bowl and whisk until thick and smooth. Add ice water two Tbsp at a time, whisking well after each, until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust for salt, lemon and cumin as desired.

Thai peanut sauceIMG_7378

Commonly associated with Thai cuisine, peanut sauce figures prominently in other cuisines from that part of the world - think Vietnamese Fresh Rolls, Indonesian Satay, Filippino Lumpia (Spring rolls), Singaporean Rice Vermicelli. It's delicious drizzled over roasted root vegetables; tossed with thin noodles and julienned vegetables like carrots, red peppers, shredded cabbage; as a sauce for tofu; and some people I know even like it as a dip for raw vegetables.

  • 1-2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 c smooth peanut butter
  • 2-4 Tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1-3 tsp Kitchen Garden Sriracha
  • 1/2 c finely chopped cilantro (optional)

Whisk all ingredients together and thin with water to desired consistency. Serve:

Drizzled over roasted root vegetables with rice.

Tossed with thin noodles and julienned vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, red peppers, shredded cabbage.

As a sauce with tofu.


This Japanese inspired savory/sweet sauce sauce comes together incredibly quickly and just as easily gives an umami pop to otherwise simple dishes like roasted vegetables, roasted or sauteed fish or seafood.

  • 2 Tbsp white miso
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together miso, honey, ginger and 1/2 tsp pepper, set aside. Prior to serving melt butter and toss with miso mixture. Use to dress root vegetables that have been roasted until about half way done or brush on fish or seafood during cooking. Top with a splash of soy sauce.

North African ChermoulaIMG_6667

Sometimes referred to as the North African version of South America's chimichurri, chermoula is a marinade and relish used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking.  Chermoula has the same base of olive oil, garlic and parsley but subtracts the  oregano for cilantro and adds in cumin, paprika and lemon  It is traditionally used to flavor fish or seafood, but it can be used on other  grilled or roasted meats or vegetables.

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4-5 cloves garlic (depending on size)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • Cayenne or crushed red pepper to taste, start with a pinch
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Place cilantro, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and salt in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, about 8-10 pulses. Add lemon juice and pulse to combine. Transfer mixture to medium bowl and slowly whisk in oil until incorporated and mixture is emulsified. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour. 


Topics: organic produce, organic vegetables, roasted vegetables, meat, sauces, chicken, fish

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