Sunday, June 16, 2024



Black sesame seeds.

An open packet of black sesame seeds jogged my memory of gomasio, a sesame-salt condiment that I used to make, method again in my hippy days (late Sixties), once we dabbled in Macrobiotics. 

A number of the expats within the Spanish village the place I nonetheless stay got here spherical with a e book known as You Are All Sanpaku by George Ohsawa (translated by William Dufty). Sanpaku is a Japanese time period which means “the whites of your eyes are exhibiting beneath the pupils”—a certain signal of bodily and religious imbalance, in line with the e book. 

We checked one another out. If the whites had been exhibiting, you had been advised, “Hey, man, your Yin and Yang are out of whack.” The remedy was a Macrobiotic weight-reduction plan, consisting of entire grains, natural and seasonal greens, little meat and fats, completely no sugar in any respect.  That will sound like a great weight-reduction plan for the entire world, nevertheless it had some extreme restrictions. It was nearly the antithesis of the Mediterranean weight-reduction plan and right here we had been, dwelling in sight of the Med. 

As an illustration, tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes had been to be utterly prevented, as a result of they had been probably the most yin of greens.  Poison to the system. Fruit, too, was yin. An occasional apple could be acceptable, if it was baked to extend its yang properties. However citrus? No method. Perhaps one orange a yr. And we lived in an orange grove. Salads and uncooked greens had been yin. Adios, gazpacho. Yeast was yin, so macrobiotic bread, as produced by native practitioners, was as dense as lead weights.

However, we gave it a attempt, starting with the 10-day brown rice fasting weight-reduction plan, which was purported to kind out the physique´s stability. On the finish of which, I had gained weight. You had been supposed to limit fluid consumption so that you solely peed as soon as a day. I by no means drank a drop and nonetheless peed six or seven occasions. I used to be perpetually yinned-out.

However, I picked-up some new habits throughout my macrobiotic interval. One was to eat slowly, chew 100 occasions, to scale back the grain to liquid earlier than swallowing. Not that I rely anymore. In somewhat macrobiotic cookbook, I discovered a very nice recipe for roasted brown rice with greens that I nonetheless make. And, on this white-bread nation, Spain, I obtained hooked on entire grains. I additionally acquired an actual fondness for that yang condiment, gomasio, toasted sesame seed floor with sea salt.

This week, as soon as I had made a batch of gomasio, I experimented a bit, sprinkling it over some very yin-ful strawberries. Add some olive oil dressing, name it salad. I make no claims that this salad balances yin and yang parts. In truth, I think about it bends strongly towards yin. However it’s beautiful and, with the contrasts in flavors and textures, fairly scrumptious.

Sliced strawberries with French dressing, balls of goat cheese and some rose petals amongst the salad greens. The salad is speckled with toasted black sesame-salt.

Strawberry Salad with Goat Cheese and Sesame Salt

Ensalada de Fresas con Queso de Cabra y Sal de Sésamo

Use both black or tan sesame seed (known as ajonjolí or sésamo in Spanish) for the gomasio. The cheese balls, with two sorts of goat cheese, could be changed with cubes of mozzarella, feta or any queso fresco. As a result of the roses in my backyard are fabulous proper now, I’ve added (non-obligatory) rose petals to the salad. Black olives or blueberries make a visible distinction with the pink strawberries. When you have a selection, go for the briny olives. Blueberries are fairly, however insipid.

For the sesame salt (gomasio):

3 tablespoon black or tan sesame seeds

1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt

Crushed sesame and salt.

Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet on medium warmth till they’re evenly toasted and aromatic. (It could be tough to guage the colour for the black seeds.) Add the salt to the sesame seeds and toast a number of seconds so the combination is totally dry.

Take away the skillet from the warmth and empty the sesame seeds right into a bowl. Allow them to cool. Working in small batches, crush the sesame seeds and salt in a mortar. Retailer the sesame salt in a jar with a good lid.

Recent goat cheese.

For the cheese balls (bolitas de queso):

Makes about 2-dozen (1-inch) balls.

3 ½ ounces goat cheese log (½ cup diced), room temperature

3 ½ ounces contemporary goat cheese (½ cup diced), room temperature 

Milk or plain yogurt to skinny the cheese

Olive oil for shaping

Place the 2 sorts of diced cheese in a mini-processor. Course of till clean and creamy, including milk or yogurt a teaspoon at a time if combination is just too stiff to course of. 

Oil a flat container. Oil the palms. Form the cheese combination into marble-sized balls. Place them within the container and chill them, coated, till able to assemble the salad.

For the dressing (aliño para ensalada):

Makes extra dressing than is required for the strawberry salad

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon pimentón de la Vera (smoked pimentón)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon brine from a jar of olives or capers

6 tablespoons further virgin olive oil

Whisk collectively the mustard, pimentón, salt and vinegar. Stir within the brine. Whisk within the oil till dressing is emulsified. 

For the salad:

Serves 4 to six.

12 ounces strawberries (2 cups sliced)

¼ cup pitted black olives (or blueberries)

3 tablespoons salad dressing (above)

1 to 2 cups mesclun, microgreens, rucula, pink endive or child spinach 

Rose petals (non-obligatory)

Cheese balls (recipe above)

Pea shoots (non-obligatory)

Basil leaves

Sesame salt (recipe above)

Wash the strawberries, take away hulls and slice or quarter them. Place them in a bowl with the olives or blueberries and add 2 tablespoons of the ready dressing. 

Place the mesclun or different salad greens in a small bowl and toss them evenly with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. 

Organize mesclun/greens on a platter or particular person salad plates with the rose petals, if utilizing. Unfold the strawberries on the greens. Add the balls of cheese. Garnish with pea shoots, if utilizing, and basil. Sprinkle the strawberries and cheese balls with sesame salt.

Extra recipes with strawberries:



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments