Quick post: clean and easy, versatile Thai sauce


Since I can't take any credit at all for the recipe brilliance that motivates this post, it seemed sensible to make it a quick one, but I could expound upon it for pages with ease! Last week, we grilled pizzas with some friends, a summer tradition that must become a much more regular habit...yumm! We had three kinds of dough and a range of toppings, resulting in margherita, pesto, and Thai varieties. The Thai pizza seemed that most unusual at the outset, but may have been the most popular (though there's a loyalty factor involved with a good standby margherita and its fresh tomato-basil simplicity). It boasted a beautiful rainbow of fresh peppers, cilantro, peanuts, and green onions brought together by a sauce from one of my favorite magazines, Clean Eating. It was so quick and easy to make, and inexpensive too, as long as you've got someplace handy for reasonably priced dates, like in bulk bins. You need dried, pitted, and unsweetened dates soaked in a few tablespoons hot water for ten minutes; the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but we used closer to a cup, in 4 to 5 tablespoons.  All you do is process them with about 1/4 cup of tomato paste, a couple of tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (2 or 3), 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and a minced garlic clove. This was a natural, finger-licking kind of sauce that proved to have versatility as well! For the pizzas, you really don't need all that much, given we made a good amount of pizza that night to share between 5 of us, and I still had enough sauce leftover for a great stir-fry two days later. I thinned it out with some chicken stock and made a stir-fry of broccoli, red and yellow peppers, and tofu. I added a small diced chili and a few kaffir lime leaves (if I hadn't had these on hand already, I would have just thrown in some lime zest), and topped with spicy peanuts, bean sprouts, and cilantro, served over some brown rice. I'm looking forward to mixing and matching with noodles, chicken, and shrimp, too! Let me know what you think, and how you use! : )