Need help with sauces/spices

Currently, I have a lot of vegetables (yay, garden!) and rice/pasta. I am trying to vary what we eat, seeing as I’m doing the home cooking thing so much. To that end, I’d like to do some dishes that are basically vegees and rice/pasta, maybe some beans/tofu added maybe not. (yes, I’m leaning vegetarian here)

To that end, I was trying to find an easy sweet-and-sour sauce/seasoning of some sort, but all the recipes I’m finding on-line contain tomatoes! I can not eat tomatoes. Just touching the juice or plant has, in the past, given me a rash like poison ivy so really, no, I don’t want to eat them in any form (like the near-ubiquitous ketchup/catsup). I know there are sweet-and-sour sauce combos that don’t include ketchup/tomatoes because I’ve had them… I just can’t find a recipe. Does anyone have a recipe and/or guidelines I can use for making my own?

Second, I thought some Mediterranean flavor would be a nice change, but I’m at a bit of a loss as it’s not my most expert style of cooking. Any guidelines/suggestions for a Mediterranean-style seasoning for that? I’m guessing I’d start with olive oil (I have that on hand) and can obtain one or two other spices.

Anyhow - help appreciated. Thanks in advance.

For Mediterranean try olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs such as oregano, marjoram, parsley, and rosemary. A tamarind based sauce might be good for sweet sour without tomatoes.

Funnily enough, in all my cookery books I could only find one sweet and sour recipe that had tomatoes in…

The basic technique is to sweat off your vegetables in some oil until soft-ish. Then add a good glug of vinegar and sugar and reduce down for a bit.

The Italians call sweet & sour agrodolce, so some searching on* [Insert vegetable name] agrodolce* might yield something nice. If you’re feeling a bit more North African or Turkish, you could use lemon juice and honey to the same effect. Rosemary goes particularly well with honey, I think. Don’t overdo it though - too much is a bit soapy.

Um… suggestions on quantity and proportions? Needs to serve two. Of course, these things don’t have to be exact, but some guidance is appreciated.

I use this one:

Sweet & Sour Sauce
1/2 c brown sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/3 c vinegar (whatever you have on hand)
1/3 c pineapple juice
1 T soy sauce
1/4 t fresh minced garlic
1/4 t ground ginger

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat it until it reaches the consistency that I want(slightly thick). This makes enough for 4 with leftovers so probably you will want to halve it.

For mediterranean I use olive oil, fresh oregano (you should grow this if you don’t already-it is very hardy, fairly quick growing and so flavorful), lemon juice, fresh garlic minced, salt and pepper and sometimes some red wine vinegar if the acid balance is off. I usually use this as a marinade for both veg and meat. Simple and good.

It may not be what you’re looking for, but I really really love this San J teriyaki sauce. A little hot, a little sweet and tangy/flavorful, it’s my favorite of the line. A bottle goes a pretty long way. I don’t have a garden (like I know you do) but I stir-fry a bunch of veggies and heat the sauce in the microwave so we can each pour exactly how much sauce we each want over our portions. Goes great with brown rice; never had it with whole wheat noodles but I think I"ll try it like that next time.

For a little protein boost I’d heat a bowl with a few tablespoons of peanut butter in it and then add the teriyaki sauce to the bowl and then heat it again in the microwave and whisk, adding water to thin to desired consistency.

Sorry about that - I was a touch sleepy last night :slight_smile:

Zucchine Agrodolci
Serves 4

6 Zucchini, sliced
28g/1 oz Sultanas
20g/ 3/4 oz Pine nuts
2 Salted Anchovies, heads removed, filleted, soaked in cold water for 10 mins and drained
1/2 tablespoon Sugar
100ml/3 1/2 fl oz white wine vinegar
1 Clove of Garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Put the sultanas in a bowl, add hot water to cover and leave to soak.
Toast the pine nuts in the oven at 180C/350F/Gas 4 for 5 minutes or so.
(Or you could toast them in the frying pan you’re just about to use…)
Chop the anchovies.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the zucchini slices and garlic and fry for 5 mins over a high heat, stirring frequently.
Drain the sultanas and squeeze out the excess liquid.
Lower the heat, add the sultanas, pine nuts, salt, vinegar and sugar.
Cook for a few minutes, add the anchovies.
Cook for another 5-10 minutes, serve warm.

If you don’t like anchovies, you could just leave them out.