Basic Starches

Starch: potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, Asian noodles, brown rice or other whole grains, beans (canned or dried and cooked), good bread

Flavors:
–Creamy Onion – 1/2 stick butter or 1/2 cup cream, thinly sliced shallot, splash or red or white wine, spoonful of capers

–Tomato-Garlic – Half dozen chopped fresh or canned plum tomatoes, olive oil, a clove or two of sliced garlic

–Balsamic-Honey – 1/2 cup each balsamic vinegar, olive oil, water, and chopped nuts; spoonful of honey if you like

–Spicy Sesame – 1 part sesame oil and 2 parts peanut oil, plus one or two chopped fresh hot chilies or dried chili flakes

–Garlic-Herb – 1/4 cup olive oil, lots of chopped garlic, a sprinkle of chopped fresh oregano

Finishes
–Creamy Onion – chopped fresh parsley or dill
–Tomato-Garlic – chopped fresh basil or cilantro
–Balsamic-Honey – lots of black pepper
–Spicy Sesame – chopped scallions
–Garlic-Herb – grated parmesan, crumbled feta or queso fresco


Start with 4 cut-up potatoes or sweet potatoes or about a pound of anything else. Boil, steam, or bake as simply as possilbe. Undercook pasta and rice a bit so it still has some bit. Cut bread into thick slices or large crutons and toast tthe pieces until they are golden crisp on all sides.

Put the flavor ingredients into the appropriate sized pan with some salt and pepper. Set over medium heat and cook until they are fragrant.

Drizzle flavorings over warm, cooked starches. Add finishes.