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Toasted Pecan Everything Sauce

This humble, simple-to-make, sauce is a miracle worker! I developed it years ago and yet every time I serve it, friends and family act as if it’s the first time they’ve tasted it. Probably because you can switch out the nuts and add a variety of herbs to change the texture and flavor.  You’ll likely have most or all of the ingredients in the fridge and pantry and it comes together quickly, so what’s not to like about it, as even the most stubborn anti-broccoli eaters will chow down if you pass this sauce.

In addition to using it as a dip for raw veggies and chips, it dresses up freshly steamed asparagus and artichokes and adds special flavor to roasted vegetables of all stripes. You can also coat fresh fish with the sauce, then oven roast it. The fish remains incredibly moist and tender and emerges table ready.

A few words about the ingredients. I’ve been enjoying toasted pecans recently but I’ve made this sauce using walnuts and almonds and can guarantee that it would be just as good with hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, Macadamias or pistachios. I’ve found that a medium-to-fine chop is best with the nuts; too coarsely chopped and it loses some of its charm.

You can add more or less garlic, and switch out the herbs — fresh tarragon, basil, chervil, dill and thyme are all good options. You can substitute salt for the soy, but I personally like soy because it adds umami, that special savoriness to the sauce that enhances the sweetness of fresh spring vegetables.

When I originally made this sauce I used sour cream, which is a perfectly good option. However, if you want to cut calories, use Greek yogurt instead; they both work equally well and it’s my preference now. Feel free to double or halve the recipe and, if you’re so inclined, you can even add Siracha if you want some heat.

 

Toasted Pecan Everything Sauce
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans (can substitute walnuts, almonds, or other tree nuts if preferred)
  4. 1 - 2 garlic cloves minced
  5. 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice (to taste)
  6. soy sauce or tamari to taste (or substitute sea salt)
  7. 1 - 2 teaspoons finely chopped herbs (optional)
  8. 4 -5 drops vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl blend together ingredients until well incorporated.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.
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Patricia Rain
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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
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