Dollops, Drizzles and Dressings

Chive oil

MAKES ABOUT 1/2 CUP • PREP TIME: 5 minutes • COOK TIME: not applicable

If you believe, as I do, that ancient ingredients have generally stood the test of time because they possess elements important for well-being, let me introduce you to chives, which have been used in recipes for about five thousand years. I’m so partial to chives that I grow them in my garden for both their wonderful flavor and the beautiful purple flowers the plant produces They’re members of the genus Allium, making them cousins to onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks. The sulfur in chives is believed to help the liver detoxify the body, but you won’t taste any of that sulfur in this drizzle. Instead, their volatile oils impart an almost sweet onion fragrance. This oil adds a bright, fresh-green pop to soups, salads, and fish. As for whether it also imparts the wisdom of the ancients, well, there’s only one way to find out.

1/2 cup chopped chive
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt

Place the chive, olive oil and salt in a blender.  Process until combined. 

Ancho Chili Relish

MAKES ABOUT 3/4 CUP • PREP TIME: 20 minutes • COOK TIME: not applicable

Wilbur Scoville should be the patron saint of chile pepper fans. In 1912, he invented a scientific scale that forever settled the question of which chile pepper is hottest. Not that settling bar bets was his intent; as a pharmacist, he was probably more interested in the medicinal aspects of capsaicin—the active ingredient in chiles that not only provides the heat, but also increases metabolic rate and fights inflammation. Ancho chiles come in at around 1,000 Scoville heat units, which could seem frightening until you compare them to habaneros, which top out at 350,000. So, all things considered, this relish is more sultry than steaming. Garlic, onion, lime juice, herbs, spices round out the flavor. 

2 dried Ancho chilies
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Soak the dried chili in a hot water bath for about 15 minutes (poke a hole in the chili so that it soaks and not floats!)  After soaking, seed, core, and mince the chili into a small mixing bowl.  Add onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, lime juice, salt, maple syrup and olive oil.  Taste, you might want to add another spritz of lime juice.  

See also Basil Pistachio Pesto

Photo Credit: Leo Gong

Reprinted with permission from The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods. Copyright © 2013 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.