Gomasio Seasoning: Garden Flavors in a Shaker
Imagine the taste sensation: toasted white sesame seeds mixed with delicate kosher salt flakes and then flavored with bee pollen, plum sorrel, and regeneratively farmed herbs grown with love at The Chef’s Garden. Developed at the Culinary Vegetable institute, the result is the new Farmer Jones Farm Gomasio.
“What I love about this seasoning mix,” Chef Jamie Simpson says, “is how you can add flavor to a wide range of foods, both savory and sweet, in versatile ways that are herbaceously delicious—and more beneficial than salt.”
This gomasio seasoning represents the CVI well, too, allowing us to reduce food waste even further in ways that maximize the use of each plant. “We used oversized microgreens,” Jamie explains, “that didn’t quite fall into a standard size: petite celery, shiso, basil, chervil, onion, chives, and lemon verbena. Using plants this way to season food also mimics how we cook at the CVI as we make small batches of the seasoning.”
At the Farmer Jones Farm site, you can find plenty of ways that Chef Tristan Acevedo has brainstormed to use this unique seasoning. As for Jamie, applications that he’s looking forward to include the following: flavoring rice dishes with gomasio seasoning along with sushi, scrambled eggs, bagels, sandwich wraps, dressings, and in coatings used when frying.
“You can use it on raw vegetables—like sprinkling it on freshly sliced tomatoes—or on steamed ones, like asparagus,” Jamie suggests.
Seasonal Gomasio Seasoning
Although the sesame and salt ratio in the seasoning blend will remain the same throughout the year, and although overall herb use will stay the same, the actual herbal ingredients used will change seasonally. Flavor changes won’t be dramatic, but they will represent the changing bounty of Mother Nature—comparable to how the flavors of honey vary in beautiful ways based on the flowers that attract them.
“Pair this seasonal seasoning with seasonally fresh vegetables,” Jamie says, “and the result will be incredible. In the spring, use gomasio seasoning on asparagus and peas. In the summer, add flavor to tomatoes, summer squash, and squash blossoms. As the season turns to autumn, it will be ideal on fall squash and brussels sprouts—and perfect on lettuce and salads all year long.”
From Yesterday to Tomorrow
The term “gomasio” is a blend of two Japanese words: “goma,” which refers to sesame seeds, and “shio,” which translates into “salt.” Used as a condiment for dishes in Japan for centuries, it has expanded its reach, both geographically and cuisine-wise.
“Going forward, our gomasio seasoning will only continue to get better,” Jamie shares, “because we’ll have new drying equipment that makes it so easy to preserve herbs and other products without freezing. We’ll store the dried herbs in airtight bags in our root cellar and use them, as needed, to flavor dishes.”
Our gomasio is available at Farmer Jones Farm. Please let us know how you use the seasoning!