Wasabi is a perennial and a member of the Cruciferae family. It is grown mainly for its underground rhizome (tuber) which produces branch-less, edible leaves above ground. A mature wasabi root is firm, cylindrical, brown and green-skinned and tapered.
Green Shishito Chile Peppers
Japanese peppers are mildly spicy and most often prepared cooked. Saute peppers in olive oil, over high heat, until they just begin to blister- serve hot, sprinkled with sea salt.
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Fenugreek is classified as both a culinary herb and a spice.
Fresh fenugreek has clover-like bright green rounded leaves that impart a pleasantly bittersweet flavor. The plant radiates a spicy fragrance. Young mature leaves are the most edible as they will not have any bitter undertones yet. As the plant matures, it produces sword shaped-pods that are filled with 10 to 20 seeds that resemble golden pebbles. These seeds are very hard so they are most often ground into a powder. Dried fenugreek has a savory, bittersweet flavor and golden amber color.
As fenugreek can be a very bitter stand alone herb, it is used primariy in herb combinations, specifically curry powders and chutneys. It is also the base ingredient for imitation maple syrup and a substitute for coffee.
The name fenugreek translates to "Greek hay", a reference to one of its original uses as cattle feed.
Native to Southern Europe and India and first cultivated in the Near East, fenugreek is cultivated throughout the world today.