Best of the Best. Summer Condiment and Meal Accessory Favorites
Sure, summer has come to an end and now we prepare for the Fall season. To relive those summer days and nights we highlight some of our favorite summer condiments that elevated the summer experience.
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We’re, as we like to think of it, exquisite foodies—we adore seasonal produce, bright flavors like acid and salt, and gorgeous ingredients like sashimi grade fish. There are several keys to making an incredible, homemade meal—salt, spices and herbs, high quality, real food ingredients, and condiments—even more amazing.Think of condiments as accessories. They’re analogous to a fabulous pair of sunglasses and a seasonless, stunning handbag—they elevate a meal, bring a bit of sparkle, and make any meal delicious, charming, and unforgettable.
Without further ado, here are some of the best edible accessories and condiments that will bring a dash of excitement, color, and incredible flavor to your meals.
An absolute essential. The pen of this article eats tablespoons of capers per day. They’re bright, briney, acidic, salty, and amazing. Eat them warm or cold—they elevate any vegetable, seafood, and meat dish. The best? Jeff’s Garden—they’re the most flavorful. But really, any caper is better than no capers.
The best of all mustards—and mustard is the best. We’re partial to the spicy, flavorful dijons by the classic French company Maille, and Whole Foods makes an amazing 365 brand dijon—it’s the one in the jar, not the bottle, and it’s totally excellent.
It’s like soy sauce, but better—and better for you. Go for the classic San J. Tamari is salty and will bring a nice umami flavor to your dishes. It’s fabulous on cauliflower rice and other dishes, and is great for using in marinades.
We adore cornichons. What’s not to love about a small, flavorful, gorgeous gherkin? The best are by Maille—they’re acidic, salty, replete with flavor, and delicious. Put some on a charcuterie or crudite board, on your salad, and serve alongside your entree. They’re a cocktail hour must. We could go on and on about cornichons—we simply adore them.
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Spices are an absolute essential when it comes to creating exquisite, flavorful, healthful dishes. Spices are ancient, time-honored, and sacred. Our favorite spices? Where do we even begin? We adore cumin, cinnamon, curry powder, Mediterranean blends, and so many others. The Spice House is perhaps our favorite spice company—their blends are amazing and their packaging is simple and handsome. McFadden Farms, a family run company, also makes great spice blends.
Fresh and dried herbs
Herbs, like spices, are an essential. We adore thyme, basil, parsley, and so forth. Whether you’re using fresh, dried, frozen, or freeze dried, herbs are nutrient dense, bright, colorful, flavorful, and incredible. They’re an ancient ingredient, and they make every and any dish more flavorful and gorgeous.
Elevate any meal, both nutritionally and visually, with edible flowers. You can usually find them at the farmers market, most specialty stores, and health food stores. They’re perfect for freezing into ice cubes, sprinkling into a cocktail, or placing on top of salads. They’re gorgeous, bright, and vibrant. They’re earthly treasures. They’re works of art.
We’re all for anything pickled. It’s likely that your favorite vegetable—green beans, cauliflower, etc—comes pickled, and that it’s delicious. We’ll bet that you’ll even enjoy the pickled versions of some vegetables that you don’t love—think beets and okra. Place these on any charcuterie or crudite board, in salads, alongside fish and meat dishes, or with your afternoon snack. They’re briney, fun, and delicious. Bonus: look for fermented pickles—they’ll enhance your gut health.
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We love ketchup. Who doesn’t? We’re not into the sugar content. There are tons of paleo options out there, but the absolute best ketchup is by Primal Kitchen. This is a must buy.
Clean BBQ sauce
Ditto with the BBQ sauce—we’re all for it, but most are laden with sugar and chemicals. The Primal Kitchen BBQ sauce is delicious and clean. Do yourself a favor and buy a bottle of it!
Nori is a total God Food. It’s delicious, full of iodine and other incredible nutrients, and is amazing for everything from homemade sushi to salad wraps to enjoying on it’s own. We love to use it as a wrap—or a vehicle—alongside clean, delicious meals. Our favorite nori brand? SeaSnax.
Whether you’re eating it with oysters, crab, or lobster or using it to literally spice up salad dressings, horseradish brings a delicious pizzaz to your favorite dishes. It’s spicy and great for you.
Incredible with fish and other Japanese dishes, pickled ginger is sweet and salty and a little bit bitter. Ginger is great for you, and pickled ginger brings a nice contrast to meals. It’s a bright, ancient flavor. You can also use some of the juice—and the ginger itself—in clean cocktails.
A must for at home sushi!! Wasabi is great for you. Mix a bit into your tamari and voila—you have a delicious, spicy sauce.
We’re in love with this super salty, umami plum. It’s delicious, deep, and flavorful. A little goes a long way. Try it with cauliflower rice, stir fry, and fish dishes. You can find it at Japanese markets and most health food stores. It’s expensive, but worth it.
What is hot sauce not good on? From eggs to stir fry to fish to vegetables, we’re all for a bit of exquisite heat on any dish. We love the old classics, like Cholula and Sambal, and Sky Valley makes a wonderful hot sauce.
We looove salsa—it’s amazing with crudite, on salsa, on fish tacos, on your afternoon snack mezze plate, and so forth. Salsas are always amazing, be they freshly diced pico de Gallo or super salt, deep, roasted tomato salsa. A few of our favorites? 505 Chile Restaurant Style and Trader Joe’s selection of salsas—they’re simply delicious.
No salad is complete without it—and vinegar brings an acidic glitter to any meal. Mirin is great for Asian dishes, balsamic is delicious, but our favorite—and stalwart vinegar—is Bragg's Apple Cider. It simply cannot be beat and has a ton of health benefits, as well. Drink it in the morning with a bit of stevia or use it in your salad dressings. It’s the old school all time best.
Salt makes everything better. For years we were told to avoid it, but salt is now a darling in the wellness space. Good salt provides us with minerals and is totally delicious. We love Salt’s Up, Redmond Real Salt, Maldon, Bora Bora Sea Salt, and Salt Odyssey.
A sprinkle of red chile flakes atop a tuna tartare, clean gluten free pasta dish, and red meat is amazing. They’re spicy and flavorful and bring a dash of color to any dish.
A staple of the Mediterranean Diet, olives are a clean and delicious source of healthy fats and flavor. We love them with just about everything. It’s essential to always have a jar of kalamata and green olives on hand—put them in a salad, have them with fish, have them with your afternoon snack, cook with them. They’re simply a must.
Whether you’re enjoying it as miso soup, using miso in salad dressings, using it as a marinade, or serving a ball of miso paste alongside a meal, miso is a miracle of a food. It’s fermented, so it’s excellent for your gut and general health, and it’s totally delicious. This umami condiment is incredible—we love Miso Master Red Miso.
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Preserved lemons combine two of our favorite flavors—lemon and salt—those are the only two ingredients, and the result is a magical condiment that will take any meal from good to incredible in just moments. We love it with vegetables and with fish. New York Shuk makes an incredible Preserved Lemon—we can’t recommend it enough.
Braggs Liquid Aminos
This is a total old school classic. It’s flavor profile is similar to soy sauce, but it’s cleaner and perhaps more delicious. Spray it on steamed vegetables, salad, or your stir fry—it’s just a great sauce. Tip: buy a travel spray bottle and put your Braggs in it. The bottle that it comes in gets sticky and stuck.
Written by : Alexandra Malmed