We are definitely edging from sauce to condiment here, and even into straight-out snack territory.  Someone gave this recipe to my sister about twelve years ago, and it says "relish" in the title, and even though that is not strictly true, at least not in terms of my understanding of the term 'relish,' I am giving it to you during Condimentia Week anyway.  It is just the very thing if you find yourself in any of these situations:

  • Bored silly by everything you make and how it all tastes the same.
  • Confounded by a few too many tricky recipes and longing for something simple that will make you feel like you should have your own show on the Food Network.
  • Heading for a potluck and wanting a boost for your self-esteem.
  • Listening to your voicemail and hearing "we would LOVE to come!  My husband's sister's cousin is in town to get an award from the Culinary Society and she'll be with us--by the way, she's vegan and gluten-free and on a raw food diet.  Hope that's cool with you!  See you at 7!"

There are no tricky skills to employ here, and if you do in fact have plans to entertain someone on a raw diet, or if it is just too hot to turn on even the toaster oven to toast the nuts and coconut, rest assured you can make this without getting involved with any appliance but your food processor. It's plenty tasty made with raw nuts and coconut.  A friend once made a batch each way because she was entertaining one raw foodist and a bunch of cookedetarians, and having the two versions side by side allowed us to scientifically establish that they were equally tasty in different ways.  I do recommend starting with the toasted iteration.

The only other note is on heat.  Even having heat from four sources (ginger, garlic, chile paste and jalapeño), things balance out nicely here.  If you are shy of heat, reduce each but maybe don't eliminate any.

This stuff is tasty on a cracker, a slice of vegetable, a sandwich, or, as usual, a spoon.  If you figure out (a) how to use it as a relish or (b) why it is called one, please send a cable immediately.

thai nut relish

makes about two cups

  • 1 heaping cup cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  • about an inch of fresh ginger root, peeled
  • one seeded and de-veined fresh jalapeño pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallions (about one bunch)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (about a cup, once chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2T soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 to 2t sriracha chile sauce (thai red chili sauce--most groceries have it in Asian section)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2T neutral oil

Food Processor Method:

Toast the cashews and coconut separately in 350 degree oven till lightly browned.  Watch closely.  It's no fun to throw away burned things.

Put the seeded and de-veined pepper, the ginger, the garlic, the scallions and  the cilantro in food processor and pulse to blend until finely minced.

Add coconut and cashews and pulse just a few times, until uniform.  Stay alert.  Don't make nut butter.

Add lime juice and oil and pulse to combine; then taste and adjust for salt, sour and spice.

By Hand method:

Mince and mince and mince some more.  Mince the herbs and spices very finely.  Chop the cashews.  Toss it all with the lime, hot sauce and oil.