Quality ingredients are essential to any restaurant’s success. These days guests are more worldly and have eaten in many restaurants to form their opinions so they can discern which ingredients are top-notch and which ones are not. At the same time, quantity means that the numbers of guests served is also important to a restaurant’s well-being.
How to have large quantities of guests without compromising quality? One way I found is to make “blender” sauces, or sauces that hold up well— cream sauces and hot sauces made-to-order are replaced by cold sauces and emulsions that are usually olive oil-based with combinations of fresh herbs and spices.
Pesto, pistou, gremolata, and salsas, just to name few, are options that will elevate many dishes to a new level. I love to use these cold “sauces” at home and at Blu Jam Cafés for their simplicity and great taste. Some of them are vinegar -based adding extra kick to the emulsion. Bellow are some recipes that are my favorites:
In a small food processor add olive oil, parsley, lemon peel, garlic, cumin and mint. Blend until nice and smooth. Season with salt if needed. This quick and easy cold “sauce” is great with grilled carrots or with roasted lamb. Just drizzle all over.
Pistou is really Pesto minus the nuts, this is my version that I use for whit-flesh fish, mainly rock fish, whitefish, or barramundi. It’s a Provençal cold sauce that can also be great for chicken and meats. I like to use my mortar when I make pistou by adding French olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, capers and little bit of salt. Crush everything with pestle and season with salt if needed.
I love these emulsions, not only for their flavor, but how easy they are to make and store. No stress involved, and I didn’t put measurements here for a reason— experiment, play around, and taste! I promise you that you will find your own favorite recipe. I’m just giving you a little guidance.