By: Emily Del Bel
Have you ever been surprised by the flavor of something? The first time I went to a local restaurant called Café Yumm, I experienced surprise and delight at the flavor of the sauce they had drizzled over the rice bowl I ordered. The menu described the bowl as having brown rice, black beans, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, diced tomato, avocado slices, sour cream, black olives, and fresh cilantro. Sounds delicious, right? That’s what I thought. But what I wasn’t paying attention to was the addition of the word “Yumm Sauce” to the bowl description. I had no idea what I was in for.
This sauce is AMAZING! I mean, it’s like nothing I’ve ever had before. I swear my tongue did a happy dance right there in my mouth. If you take hummus, remove the bitterness that tahini gives it, add more lemon juice to bring up the acidity, then add the flavor of curry powder, cilantro, oregano, and the fantastically cheesy flavor that nutritional yeast has, you can maybe try to imagine what this sauce tastes like. Actually, no you can’t. You really need to try it to believe it!
Last night I served it over brown rice, red lentils, sautéed zucchini, and cubed sweet potatoes with some added chili powder for heat. Tonight I’m going add some green beans and broccoli to that combination. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll try it over couscous with chicken. I really can’t imagine it tasting badly over anything really. The possibilities are endless! Go make this right now!
Makes 10.5 cups (to make a smaller batch, follow the amounts in the parenthesis)
- 1.25 c. almonds (3 T)
- 1.75 c. or 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1/4 c.)
- 1 c. lemon juice (2.5 T)
- 1/4 c. lime juice (1/2 T)
- 2 1/3 c. water (1/3 c.)
- 1.75 c. nutritional yeast (NOT baker’s yeast, Nutritional Yeast ) (1/4 c.)
- 2T + 1 t. minced garlic (1 t.)
- 1.75 t. salt (1/4 t.)
- 1.75 T. curry powder (3/4 t.)
- 3.5 t. dried oregano (1/2 t.)
- 3.5 t. dried cilantro (1/2 t.)
- 1.75 c. canola oil (1/4 c.)
If you’re making a small batch you can use a food processor or blender. I used a stick mixer in a big bowl for this big batch, and except for the almonds being a little coarser than I’d like, it worked really well.
Start by grinding the almonds, then add the garbanzo beans, water, and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Add the spices and yeast, and lastly drizzle the oil in slowly as the blender is running to make a smooth sauce. This sauce only tastes better after the flavors have a chance to meld in the fridge but it tastes great fresh too. I’d imagine that it should be used within a week, but I’m freezing some too, so we’ll see how that turns out. It should just need a whirl in the blender again once it defrosts but should be fine.
Have you ever been really surprised by the taste of something? Do you have any favorite recipes you’d like to share? Share them in the comments below.