Pecan-whole grain tarator sauce

Pecan tarator sauce

I was thinking about tarator sauce the other day. The word means different things to different people, and contains different ingredients in various locations around the globe. For me, a tarator sauce is a combination of nuts, bread-soaked-in-water and seasonings. It is a thing of wonder! These unlikely elements combine to form something subtly flavored, smooth, creamy, and completely dairy-free! At first, I generally used pine nuts and white bread, garlic and lemon. Definitely delicious. Then I used almonds, because they’re also lovely and much cheaper. I made this savory vanilla sauce, for instance. And a tarator sauce can make the base of a creamy soup. My version of Jane Austen’s white soup combines an almond tarator sauce with white beans and cauliflower.

I’ve always thought of tarator as a pale ivory concoction, and I’ve generally used pale nuts and white bread. Well, the other day, faced with a very tasty but rapidly aging loaf of whole grain bread, I thought, why not make a tarator sauce with that? And I used pecans, because they have a wonderful distinctive flavor. And I used balsamic instead of lemon juice, for a little depth. And then I added roasted garlic, thyme, and rosemary, because it seemed to need all those things. Turned out delicious! We ate it as a sort of dip for butternut squash-pecan dumplings. But tarator sauce is very versatile. It’s good with french fries, or on roasted vegetables, or as a dip for anything you can think of dipping in it.

Here’s Soul Sauce from Cal Tjader

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