Foods to wet your appetite in 2022
Foods to wet your appetite in 2022: From pickled cherries to date molasses and yuzu pesto
- Sudi Pigott shares a selection of foods that will wet your appetite in the New Year
- The list includes yuzu pesto, edible moringa and a selection of pickled fruit
- Among the top picks are hot pink hibiscus as well as date molasses
Fed up with Deliveroo? Had enough sourdough to last you a lifetime? Then revive palates jaded by another year of takeout stodge and start home cooking with the latest food trends for 2022 — a larder of new flavours, textures and, in many cases, nutritional benefits, too.
From floral yoghurt to Japanese citrus pesto and pineapple sauerkraut, kick-start your tastebuds with these six cutting-edge ingredients . . .
PEERLESS PINK HIBISCUS
Gorgeous good looks add to the hot trend status of hibiscus, which also has high levels of vitamin C — good for boosting immune health.
Taste-wise, hibiscus has a mild, semi-sweet tartness with delicate floral, fruity notes. It has long been enjoyed in fruit tea — and as it’s calorie-free, is a good way to make you feel full and help weight loss.
Now hibiscus is finding favour in yoghurts and spreads, as well as in soft drinks, mocktails and cocktails.
You can buy it pre-mixed in drinks such as Something & Nothing’s Hibiscus & Rose Seltzer (£1.49 per 330 ml can, thevegankind.com). Plus, check out Lakeland’s Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup (£9.99, lakeland.co.uk); or buy them dried — Dried Hibiscus Flowers (£1.50, souschef.co.uk).
Try making a hibiscus spritz with hibiscus syrup, lime juice and bitters, and a sprig of mint or slice of lemon. Chefs are also using it in baking, to add a citrusy tang and turn icing a pretty pink. Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown recommends orange and hibiscus madeleines in her book Comfort (£16.31, amazon.co.uk).
Lakeland’s Wild Hibiscus Flowers in Syrup (£9.99, lakeland.co.uk)
You may have heard of moringa in your moisturiser — it has been a beauty ingredient for a while. But this miracle plant is entirely edible, from root to bark.
Widely cultivated in India, South-East Asia and East Africa, it is incredibly nutritious, with seven times more vitamin C than oranges and 15 times more potassium than bananas.
Its flavour can seem challengingly robust in tea, though health food stores also sell it as a powder to add to smoothies, sauces or desserts.
Sameer Taneja, executive chef at the Michelin-starred Benares Restaurant in London’s Mayfair, uses moringa leaves to flavour dishes with their earthy, spinach taste. He says: ‘It has been called the world’s most nutrient-rich plant. I’m currently working on several new dishes, including a moringa-marinated celeriac kebab with celeriac malai and moringa oil.’
At home, try Natur Boutique’s Organic 100 per cent Moringa Tea made with leaves and stalks (£4.45, planetorganic.co.uk), Aduna Moringa Cleansing Tea with nettles and mint (£9.18, amazon.co.uk), or Aduna Moringa Powder (£8, ocado.com).
Aduna Moringa Powder (£8, ocado.com)
FAB PICKLED FRUIT
The ancient technique of fermenting is riding high, and now a host of fruits from pineapple and watermelon to apple, plum and blueberries are being pickled in a brine of vinegar, sugar and salt. Pickled fruits are kind to your gut — and great for serving with cold cuts and cheeseboards, over roast chicken or in a breakfast yoghurt.
You can make your own. For 500 g fruit (e.g., cherries) you’ll need 150 ml moscatel vinegar, 50 ml white wine vinegar, 75g caster sugar, 1 bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme, 1 tsp sea salt and 2 tsp black peppercorns. Put all the ingredients, except the fruit, into a small pan with 200 ml water and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pack the fruit into a sterilised (in dishwasher or low oven) one-litre jar and pour over the pickling liquid. Seal the jar, allow it to cool, then chill. It’ll be good after a few days but best after a week, when the vinegar has mellowed a little.
Or, buy ready-pickled fruits at Planet Organic, such as London Fermentary Pineapple & Turmeric Kraut (£6.99 for 460g, planetorganic.com). Or try The Fine Cheese Co’s Pickled Cherries (£8.95, harveynichols.com).
London Fermentary Pineapple & Turmeric Kraut (£6.99 for 460g, planetorganic.com)
This deep mahogany, viscous syrup tastes like honey cut with a dash of molasses. Traditionally made in Israel by boiling Medjool dates in water, the thick pulp is strained and keeps in the fridge for ages.
It makes a fine sugar substitute. A tablespoon of luscious date syrup has only about a third of the calories of sugar and contains more than twice the potassium, calcium and magnesium in maple syrup or honey, with up to ten times the antioxidants (refined sugar has none of these). It also has a lower glycaemic index, so it won’t cause a blood sugar spike.
According to online suppliers Sous Chef, demand for date molasses is up 390 per cent year-on-year. You can find it in supermarkets. Try Belazu Date Molasses (£3.99 for 250g, waitrose.com); or Basra Date Syrup (£3 for 450g, morrisons.com).
You can serve it up at breakfast, stirred into porridge, or spread it on toast with pomegranate seeds on top. Mix it with tahini to make a sweet spread, or blend it with lemon juice, Dijon mustard and warm water for a salad dressing.
It is delicious with cheese, too: try it with a creamy burrata or halloumi, or spooned over goat’s cheese. Plus, you can use it in sticky toffee pudding as a lower-calorie ingredient.
Belazu Date Molasses (£3.99 for 250g, waitrose.com)
NEW YUZU ‘PESTO’
Yuzu, a citrus fruit mainly cultivated in Japan, has already taken the culinary world by storm. Tart and sour with a lemon-grapefruit-lime flavour, the tangerine-sized fruit is being used by chefs to accent salads, fish and desserts.
And now it is being made into a Japanese condiment, too, called yuzu kosho: it contains fresh chilis (usually green or red Thai chilis) fermented with salt along with yuzu zest and juice, which come together to powerfully enliven all manner of dishes, from sashimi to braised pork ribs.
Treat it like pesto (but use far more sparingly) with pasta, or mix with lemon juice to dress salads and vegetables or rub into fish before grilling. I’ve even added a pinch of yuzu kosho to my breakfast scrambled eggs. The Japanese use it in hot pot and ramen dishes, too.
You can find milder, sweeter red chili and hotter green chili yuzu kosho online (£7.95-£13.50, thewasabicompany.co.uk).
It also sells yuzu kararin, with a light and fluffy, powdery texture and extremely complex flavour, which is very good for adding fragrant heat to soups and is spectacular in a Bloody Mary — it can be lightly dusted around the glass or mixed in (£16).
Green chili yuzu kosho online (£7.95-£13.50, thewasabicompany.co.uk)
ANCIENT EINKORN GRAIN
First cultivated some 10,000 years ago, einkorn is a wild ancestor of wheat, with a small seed (each tiny husk removed before milling contains only a single grain). This low yield and einkorn’s rarity explain why it is more expensive than other wheats.
However, it has a nutty flavour and is great for making flatbreads (einkorn flour dough doesn’t have to be kneaded, only shaped). It can be a healthy alternative for those with sensitivity to gluten, too, though is not suitable if you have coeliac disease.
Einkorn flatbread and hummus is on the menu at Yotam Ottolenghi’s Nopi restaurant in London (ottolenghi.co.uk). Or bake your own using Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Einkorn Flour (£3.25, dovesfarm.co.uk); or Allinson’s Ancient Grains Einkorn Blend (£2.85, morrisons.com). The South Devon Pasta Co sells Hand-made Einkorn Rigatoni (£3.84 for 350g, bakerybits.co.uk).
Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Einkorn Flour (£3.25, dovesfarm.co.uk)
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