The many ways to serve and pair tea

June 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
We know her as a fine dining and wine expert, as well as the host of KQED's "Check Please." Leslie Sbrocco and Japan tea master, Ryozo Taniguchi, share ways to educate us about the wonderful world of tea pairings.

GREEN TEA FOOD PAIRINGS AND RECIPES

Green Goddess Dressing

In a blender or food processor, puree the flesh of one large ripe avocado with a small handful each of fresh dill, parsley, and tarragon. Using a mortar and pestle, grind one tablespoon of loose leaf green tea and add to the mixture with several tablespoons of mayonnaise. Puree. Thin with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

How to serve it:
Use this as a dressing for fresh salads, as dipping for a crudités platter with fresh vegetables or make salad below.

Why it works:
The creamy, herbal tang of the dressing echoes the freshness of the original tea.

Chunky Turkey Salad

Sauté one large turkey breast fillet (approximately 2 pounds) with a bit of cooking oil, salt and pepper. Let cool and chop into half-inch cubes. While the turkey is cooking peel and then toast a half cup of hazelnuts and let cool. In a separate bowl, combine one tart green apple that has been cored and cubed, one small can of drained mandarin oranges and the cubed turkey. Chop the hazelnuts and add them to the bowl. Add some Green Goddess Dressing and toss gently to coat, then spoon salad onto lettuce leaves and serve.

Tea Pasta with Wild Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • Plain pasta (flavors of whole wheat or spinach pasta is too overpowering)
  • Variety of mushrooms
  • Ginger (2 teaspoons minced)
  • Wine (2-3 table spoons)
  • Tea leaves (2-3 table spoons) -- milled or ground

In frying pan, heat oil (vegetable oil or mild flavored olive oil)and ginger until the oil is flavored. Add mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add tea leaves and wine and let wine evaporate, while the flavor of the tea seeps into the sauce. Adjust taste with soy sauce or salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta, mix and serve.

Green Tea Ice Cream

Take your favorite vanilla or vanilla with almond ice cream and let soften in room temperature. Mix Matcha (green tea powder) into ice cream until green swirls are formed. Return to freezer until firm. Serve as is, or with chocolate syrup. Scoop onto lettuce leaves and serve.

Green Tea Pesto (With Iyemon Cha Roasted Tea)

In a blender or food processor, puree one bunch of fresh basil leaves (approximately 1 cup) with about 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup Toasted Sesame Oil. Using a mortar and pestle, grind one tablespoon of loose leaf green tea and add to the mixture along with 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, and approximately 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese. Puree until smooth adding more sesame oil if necessary.

How to serve it:
Use for a sauce on pasta, as a flat bread or pizza topping, or as condiment for a grilled Panini sandwich.

Why it works:
The Toasted Sesame oil highlights the roasted character of the tea while the fresh herbs underscore the refreshing nature of the tea.

Pesto Pizza Bread

Roughly chopped two large Portobello mushrooms (make sure to scoop out the gills with a spoon before chopping). Saute in olive oil until softened. Use store-bought or homemade pizza crust, prebake the crust until lightly brown then let cool. Top the crust with a generous amount of Green Tea Pesto, layering on the mushrooms and one diced roasted red pepper, and one large tomato cut into large chunks. Sprinkle lightly with shredded Parmesan cheese and bake in a 400 degree oven until bubbly.

Dessert:
Scoop 1 to 2 cups of vanilla ice cream into a bowl and when slightly softened, with a large spoon, mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons of unsweented cocoa, 1 teaspoon of finely ground green tea, and approximately 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. When mixed together completely, return to the freezer.

Why it works:
This easy-to-make dessert works beautifully with the Roasted Tea due to the cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa as you don't want the dessert to be very sweet since the tea has no sugar. Serve with a macaroon or almond cookie.

Similiarities of tea and wine

Iyemon Cha Original Green Tea
With just a tinge of color this herbal-scented, elegant green tea refreshes with its bright earthy notes, citrus flavors, and long finish. It sports light tannins and vibrant acidity making it ideal for sipping on a hot summer day, or for serving with fresh seasonal salads and lightly-spiced dishes.

Iyemon Cha Roasted Green Tea
Dark amber in color, this distinctively smoky-scented tea showcases its roasted character with rich flavors of brown spices, and a full-bodied texture. Smooth but noticeable tannins and rounded acid, make it an extremely versatile tea to pair with everything from a bowl of toasted almonds to smoked cheeses and chaucuterie platter.

Website: http://www.suntory.com/iyemon_cha/

For more information on Leslie Sbrocco, visit: www.lesliesbrocco.com


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