Four Accompaniments

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Sometimes, it really is the little things that make the biggest impressions. And when you don’t eat meat, these ‘little’ things often separate “it’s oooooo kaaaaayyyyyyy…” from “OMG, can I have seconds!??!!?!?” These four accompaniments make a big flavor impact, but each of them use a few ingredients and only take a few minutes to prepare. Big flavor + minimal time + easy to find ingredients = totally worth focusing on the little things!

Four Accompaniments

Herb Butter

This herb butter is great with bread or on other starches like rice and mashed potatoes. Feel free to tweak the amounts, as well as the herbs that you include.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup earth balance (softened)

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon fresh oregano

salt/pepper

Method:

*Chop fresh herbs. Add herbs to softened earth balance with a dash of salt and pepper; mix.

*Add ‘butter’ to a sheet of wax paper. Roll into log and secure ends. Refrigerate.

Roasted Pear-Guava Butter

This butter was inspired by the guava butter at Eve, one of my favorite restaurants in Ann Arbor. Since I was also making the pear crostata that day, I threw in one quarter of a roasted pear. YUM! This was the favorite of the two flavored butters.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup earth balance

1/4 roasted pear (I made this the same day I made the pear crostata)

2in x 2in piece of guava paste (~1-2 oz.)

2 tablespoons of water

Method:

*Heat guava paste and water over low heat in a small sauce pan.

*Add melted guava paste, roasted pears, and earth balance to food processor. Blend. Transfer to bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

*Add ‘butter’ to a sheet of wax paper. Roll into log and secure ends. Refrigerate.

Candied Ginger and Mint

After making the ginger syrup for my cranberry-ginger punch, I ate a piece of the remaining ginger. It was so delicious that I decided to sprinkle some sugar on the ginger pieces and use them as the “palate cleanser” between the main meal and dessert. In honor of Eve, I also candied some mint leaves (the restaurant uses egg wash to get the sugar to stick, but I wanted to keep it vegan, so I used the ginger syrup!).

Ingredients:

4 cups water

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons agave

juice from 1 tangerine (or 1/2 orange)

3 inches (or so) of fresh ginger

mint leaves

Method:

*Add water, citrus juice, and fresh ginger to medium saucepan. Heat over medium low for twenty minutes.

*Add sugar and agave. Stir. Turn heat to medium. Heat slowly and reduce the mixture down to approximately one cup of syrup. (The slow reduction extracts all of the gingery goodness out of the ginger and into the simple syrup. Don’t rush this! AND… added bonus … your house will smell amazing!).

*Remove ginger and sprinkle with sugar. Brush mint leaves with syrup and sprinkle with sugar. Save syrup, and use to sweeten tea, coffee, punch (I made a cranberry punch with the syrup… recipe coming soon!), oatmeal, yogurt…

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Written by

Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!

Comments

  1. Each one of these looks so unique and delicious. The butters had my mouth watering. What a brilliant idea to add flavor!

  2. I love the pear guava combo.

    what is earth balance? Vegan mayo? Can I just use heavy coconut cream instead? Getting addicted to that stuff so soon!

    • Hi Zenobia! Earth balance is vegan ‘butter.’ In other words, one of the greatest inventions in the past century! 😀

  3. I like all four … they sound really tasty!

  4. Oh I love your herb butter..but everything looks so good!

  5. They all sound great, but I’m especially diggin the Roasted Pear-Guava Butter. I’m only about an hour away from Ann Arbor so I’ll have to check out Eve.

    • Sandra, I just got word that Eve is closing soon!!!! Which is such a shame! You should call up and see when their official last open day is.

  6. Wow, I seriously never thought of doing this before, but it’s a wonderful idea! This would be great for my next dinner party! Thanks for posting!

  7. I love compound butters – the pear combo looks amazing!!

  8. I love flavored butter. all of them sound so gooooood. Can’t wait to try them out. Thanks for sharing.
    Best wishes,
    Roxana

  9. Such a neat idea! I’d love to do this with basil.

  10. It’s been a long time since I have made herbed butters; I really should do that when I buy herbs from the grocery store in the winter. I just don’t think about it.

    Great post!

  11. Oh these are just so delicious! The roasted pear and guava butter would be so good on some sourdough bread. Thank you for sharing. Your sweetness on my blog means so much.

    • I love your blog Monet! EVERY single time I read a post, I am left smiling ear to ear! Thank YOU for being so positive! 😀

  12. The pear guava butter looks divine! Where do you get guava paste?

    • Hi Tabitha, I use Goya’s guava paste, which you can find in the Latino section of the grocery store. Take a look at my post for the baby dessert calzones and you can see what the container looks like. I know there are some other brands, but I stick by Goya!

  13. Thanks for the feedback everyone! It really is awesome what a few extra minutes can do to a meal! 😀

  14. Oh! Yes! I could live just on bread and butter, and delicious flavorful butter like that, would be a treat.

  15. Looks lovely and so tasty!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the kind comment!

  16. They all sound so lovely. I am especially intrigued by the ginger and mint combo. YUM!

  17. All of these butters sound so full of flavors and delicious!

  18. Roasted pear & guava butter?! Yum! I love that we both just posted compound butters – they are so easy and so great! Thanks for commenting and telling me about yours, they sound amazing. And thanks for the tip on guava paste! I’ve never heard of it but now I’m going to go find some.

  19. I’m all about that Pear Guava Butter. I can just imagine eating it atop fresh waffles!

  20. Your butters look fabulous. I just posted about my first butter…but you’ve inspired me to take it up a notch. Awesome. Awesome butter.

  21. These look amazing! I have been trying to get more ginger in my belly because it’s delicious and it helps with the nausea that comes with the migraines I get sometimes. Making this will make me feel so fancy :)

  22. Wow-they all sound divine! Especially the fruit butter.

  23. I love flavoured butters. Even if you do eat meat, they can take a meal from “okay” to “spectacular”!

  24. Love the herbed butter. I was just looking at local cream the other day, thinking about making my own butter (which I used to do at an organic farm I once worked on). Now you’ve inspired me to make two – one plain, and one with some herbs mixed in.

  25. Herb butter is one of the most simple and amazing accompaniments ever. 😀 Yours looks great

  26. Wonderful flavors. I’m going to have to try the herb butter soon…..so yummy.

  27. Great ideas! I can’t wait to try the roasted pear butter. I find sides often make the meal.

  28. love the roasted pear / guava butter. That musky sweet butter would go perfect as a breakfast butter!

  29. All four are definitely flavor enhancers, but the roasted pear-guava butter sounds divine!

  30. wow! these r cool. I def wanna try the guava butter. looks yummy