Today I am going to introduce you to my best friend in the kitchen. Well, other than Sadie and Skyler, who are my constant companions while I cook.
The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is considered to be the essential guide to culinary creativity. What exactly is it? The Flavor Bible is 377 pages of ingredients, their flavor profiles and best matches. It also has a great section on combining flavors. It is indispensable in my kitchen.
Yesterday, I had a bowl of macadamia nuts soaking. Wanting to use them before it was too late, I picked up “The Flavor Bible” and looked up macadamia nuts. I already know many things that go with macadamia nuts but The Flavor Bible lists so many things…many which I never would have thought of.
Macadamia nuts “volume” is considered to be moderate which means they won’t completely overwhelm a recipe. I also had tons of lemons, dropped off by my assistant, Shannon, and cucumbers. After looking up each ingredient, I got thinking. The macadamia nuts went in the high-speed blender, along with garlic and lemon juice.
Wanting to lighten up this nut based dressing, I threw in a cucumber. After a taste, everything started falling into place. Listed as a match for cucumber was cumin. The minute I saw that, the rest of the salad took shape in my mind. Jicama and melon would be the star players of this salad and the cumin cucumber dressing, the supporting player. All of the flavors play off of each other beautifully and the cumin brought a depth and savoriness to the sweet, cool flavors of the jicama and melon.
Once the salad was mixed up, I decided I wanted a little more heat and crunch. I added red pepper flakes (completely optional) and pumpkin seeds. When everything came together, it was heaven! I had a huge bowl for lunch and mixed it with black rice for dinner. It was so tasty, we ate the whole batch and today I made another.
You can find The Flavor Bible here: THE FLAVOR BIBLE
Jicama and Melon Salad with Cumin Cucumber Dressing
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, soaked for 6 hours, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cubed
- 1 clove garlic
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1. Place all ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
- 3 cups jicama, cubed
- 3 cups musk melon. cubed
- 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 – 1 cup pumpkin seeds
1. Place all ingredients in bowl and toss to combine.