for my birthday last year, a very good friend gave me the flavour thesaurus by niki segnit as a gift. i have grown to really enjoy this random not-quite-a-cookbook! not only is it a lovely libro...
but it's fun to explore. there are 16 categories (mustardy, green & grassy, meaty, etc...) and 99 flavours that the book pairs together giving recipe ideas, anecdotes, historical information, and other unique bits about the chosen ingredients. if i have a craving for a particular food item, i look in the book to see possible pairings and generally find some obvious suggestions and some out of the ordinary and fun ideas too!
for instance, i had an abundance of basil that i needed to use, so i looked up basil in the book and found myself completely charmed after reading the entire entry under the heading Basil & Egg:
When in the mood to make eggs green
(To clarify just what I mean,
Not 'eco' green, like Prius cars
But coloured green, like men from Mars),
In your mental pan you should
Consider only what tastes good.
Rule out at once the croquet lawn,
The waistcoat of a leprechaun.
Green ink will only make you ill,
As would a mashed-up dollar bill.
Avocado'd be a waste:
In scrambled eggs it's hard to taste.
Green tea - a very current fad -
Would be presposterously bad.
Leeks and lettuces lack the might:
When cooked they'll be less green, more white.
Peas and peppers taste persuasive,
But their colour's not pervasive.
Broccoli all but makes the mark,
Except its green's a trifle dark;
Celery, okra, courgettes, kale
In hue and flavour mostly fail.
Of the green things that we tested
Basil simply can't be bested.
To scramble eggs you add pesto,
Stir it well, and then, hey presto -
Green eggs. Season. Serve with ham.
(Do not prepare for folk named Sam.)
i immediately made pesto! the green eggs on toast were not quite as green as i imagined while reading the poem, but i mixed the remaining pesto in with some cous cous and vegetables and the flavours all came together beautifully.