BY: EARTHA LOWE
Sauces may be the most interesting aspect of a given dish. They serve to moisten food, to enhance it, to complement it. A basic sauce might be a combination of freshly squeezed lemon juice or vinegar combined with good tasting oil to give it body, smoothness, more flavour, and balance. You might also add fresh herbs or minced aromatics. Each of these refinements adds complexity and texture to boost your basic flavour.
Sauces can be divided into two groups:
- Those that are made separately from the dish with which they will be used. This category is large and includes vinaigrettes, brilliantly versatile pesto, chutneys, salsas, ketchup, hollandaise, pepper sauces, tomato-based sauces, apple or cranberry sauce, just to name a few. Basically, anything that is made independently. These types of sauces are useful on foods in which there are no pan juices.
- Then there are reduction sauces. Reductions sauces build on the pan juices that naturally result from stove-top cooking or oven roasting of meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. A good reduction sauce exploits the natural flavours of the dish and can be made in minutes with the addition of ingredients such as stock, cream, juice, and even water. Stock alone is not the foundation of most worthwhile reduction sauces.
When it comes to making pizza, cooks know that as long as there are some moist ingredients on top of the pizza – from pesto to drizzled olive oil to your favourite sauce – the ingredients will bind together. To add, you can also put nearly anything you want on a pizza, as long as it isn’t too wet or too dry; wet toppings make for a soggy crust, dry ones usually fall off.
- 4 – 6 plain or garlic naan
- 2 cups vegetarian tikka masala sauce
- 2 cups packed baby greens (spinach, kale, arugula)
- 1 cup cooked and cubed sweet potato
- 1 cup roasted chickpeas
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (or as desired)
- Fresh oregano
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205° C). Place the naan on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
- Coarsely chop the baby greens and stir with the tikka masala in a small bowl. Spread evenly over the naan. Top with the sweet potato, chickpeas, and feta.
- Bake 10 – 15 minutes until edge is crisp. Serve topped with extra baby greens and oregano.
Bonus Recipe: Roasted chickpeas also make for a healthy snack option to enjoy at home or on the go. They’re also super easy to cook. Always rinse and drain canned chickpeas well before using.
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons preferred spices (or a mix of paprika, dried herbs, salt, and pepper)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (205° C).
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and spread onto parchment paper or greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 20 – 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Let cool and enjoy!
Pizza can be cooked quickly and easily at home, whether by making the dough or buying it fresh. Similarly, pita bread, naan, and flour tortillas can also be homemade or bought, and they take well to a variety of toppings.