The primary flavor animal products bring to our taste buds is umami– which is a savory and, well, meat-ish flavor– but is not exclusive to meat. Case in point: “Dried Olive Miso Rosemary Shake”, which is billed as a vegan alternative to parmesan cheese. I call it “Umami Sprinkles” cause that’s shorter and cuter, and I think you’ll love this condiment no matter how much meat and cheese you consume.
This recipe is from Serious Eats, available at this link.
Makes ¾ cup, cooking time 5-7 hours
- 1 pound (500 grams, about 3 cups) high quality pitted green olives (such as Manzanilla), drained and dried on paper towels (can be stuffed with pimentos)
- 2 ounces (60 grams, about 5 tablespoons) white miso paste
- 1 ounce (30 grams, about 4 tablespoons) fresh zest from 3 to 4 lemons
- 1 ounce (30 grams, about 3 sprigs) fresh rosemary leaves
- Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 225°F. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a very rough puree is formed, about 15 short pulses, scraping down sides as necessary. Transfer mixture to a parchment or Silpat-lined rimmed baking sheet and spread in a thin, even layer.
- Transfer to oven and cook until fully dehydrated and crackly, 4 to 6 hours. Let mixture rest in the oven with the door left ajar until completely cool, about 1 hour.
- Transfer mixture to a food processor and process until a rough powder is formed. Store mixture in a sealed container in a dark, cool place for up to 2 months.
A few notes on the ingredients:
The olives are crucial to making this recipe work, so don’t use the ones in a can. Jarred manzanilla olives with pimentos are a fine choice; keep in mind the additional acid from the peppers will make the sprinkles a bit tangier.
Additionally, it’s important you use the milder, sweeter white miso in this recipe instead of the red miso, which is darker and has a more intense flavor.
And finally, once you obtain the zest of those three or four lemons, don’t throw the fruit away! Juice the lemons immediately and save it for a later recipe, like a quick vinaigrette.
I saw you glance back up at the cooking time! Yes, umami sprinkles are time-consuming, but once you add them on top of your popcorn or pasta, you’ll be fine with that sacrifice. They are very addicting. So whether you’re vegan or just looking for a new condiment, try to toast up a batch soon! I’ll leave you with one final, non-vegan recommendation: this stuff is really good on salmon steaks.