What’s the difference between a dish that is pretty good and a dish that makes you never want to stop eating it? In my opinion, the difference is a masterful combination of the 5 basics tastes – sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami.
My first experience with all of these flavors on one plate was the fried brussels sprouts at Michael Symon’s Roast in Detroit. These things make brussels sprouts lovers out of people who swear up and down that they’ll never like them. I don’t know all of the ingredients in them, but I can guess that there’s vinegar (sweet, sour), bacon fat (salty & umami), the brussels themselves (bitter) and sriracha (bonus – spicy!). All of these things combine to make a plate of food that is almost literally addictive.
Since my experience with those sprouts, I’ve been putting that method of combining tastes into my home cooking. Here, I’ve made a black bean dip topped with pineapple (sweet & sour), queso fresco (salty & umami) and a drizzle of sriracha (spicy). As an added bonus, I also tried to combine textures – soft dip, crumbly cheese, juicy pineapple, and crunchy plantain chips for dipping.
- 1 can (15.25 ounces) black beans
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup chopped pineapple
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha
- Naturebox South Pacific Plantains, or tortilla chips, for serving
- In food processor, pulse beans, garlic, yogurt, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne until smooth.
- Transfer to serving dish; top with pineapple, cilantro, queso fresco and hot sauce, if desired.
- Serve with NatureBox South Pacific Plantains or tortilla chips for dipping.