Sesame sprinkle and almond topping
Photo by Tamara West
Each time I’ve visited my Auntie Nada in the past year or so she’s made a beautiful salad from home-grown vegetables, and placed a little tray of condiments on the table. One came in an unmarked jar and looked like light brown oatmeal. It added a savoury taste and a bit more body to the salad and I kept going back for more. I have created my own recipe here that I make and keep in the pantry. This topping has a base of sesame seeds, the second recipe has a base of almonds roasted quite dark and ground with cumin seeds and a pinch of salt. Almonds are 20 per cent protein so this one is a real “satisfaction booster”. You can use it on a salad, soup, or even pasta to add a rich dark taste and bit of substance. My top tip for dry roasting the sesame seeds and almonds is to take your time. The flavour comes from browning them well, but if you have the oven too hot it’s easy to get lots of burnt bits which are not so nice. I like to get the almonds about the colour of milk chocolate inside.
Another thing I learned recently is that garlic powder can be quite variable. Nada gets a very fine powdery version from bulk bins and it has a smoother sweeter taste than some of the granulated ones I’ve tried.
|1 cup||Sesame seeds|
|2 tsp||Garlic powder, fine, I get mine from Binn Inn|
|¼ tsp||White pepper|
- Heat oven to 160C. Place almonds on one tray and sesame seeds on another. Shake each tray a bit to spread them evenly.
- Dry roast for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven, until nicely browned. Sesame seeds are small and pale so you can easily see when they’ve got to a nice colour, but almonds are a bit harder to tell. Break one in half to see what’s really happening inside. Allow to cool before grinding.
- For the sesame sprinkle, use a food processor to grind the sesame seeds nice and fine, then add the salt, garlic powder and white pepper and give it another quick spin to mix them in. Store in an airtight container.
- For the almond topping, grind the almonds separately, a little coarser than the sesame — a few lumps are good for texture. Add the toasted cumin and salt and whiz again to mix in. Store in an airtight container.