Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

5 Ingredients You Need to Be Cooking with Now

Cooking enthusiasts: Read on for details on how, why and where to get such hot commodities as black garlic.




PHOTOS BY LEAH LIZARONDO
 

One of the things I love to do with everyday food is to tweak my go-to recipes every now and then by introducing new ingredients. Many of us fall into the convenience of making the same recipes over and over again because of the demands of life. Sometimes I don’t have time to try new recipes, but I always find time to pick up new ingredients I see at the grocery store and add them to something I’m already accustomed to making. And often that’s enough to turn a “We’re having this again?!” to “Oh, what’s this new thing?!”

Here are some new ingredients you can pick up right now that will help you do just that. Great sources for these are your local farms, Whole Foods Market, the East End Food Co-Op and Trader Joe’s (which surprisingly is a great barometer for trending ingredients!). Another great foodie secret is to go to where chefs get their unique ingredients. One such purveyor is The John V. Heineman Company in Lawrenceville; if you read about some new thing you want to try, call this place because chances are they have it (or can easily get it for you).

 

Green chickpeas

Love edamame? You’re going to love green chickpeas even more! The typical chickpeas we know are ones left on the plant to ripen and dry. These are chickpeas picked in their “infancy.” Green garbanzos are soft and creamy and taste like spring. They are extremely addictive just charred on a hot cast-iron pan with shells and all, then sprinkled with salt, pepper (I like to add a hit of Togarashi, a Japanese spice) and eaten as you would eat edamame. Bet you can’t have just one.

Get them now because they only are available fresh for a narrow window of time (and that window is closing quickly!). Good news, though: Some brands now sell frozen packs.

 

Preserved lemons

Preserved lemons are common in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking, but modern recipes often have been adapted to include only lemons to accommodate what’s typically available in our grocery stores. What we don’t know is that while the dish still tastes amazing, we are robbing our palate of one of the best tastes out there: the salty, sour, sweet tang of preserved lemons. They add a completely different dimension to dishes.

It is super easy to make preserved lemons. For those of you who have fear of making anything jarred, canned or preserved, I am not kidding about how easy it is. But they also are becoming more available — I just saw them at Trader Joe’s!

Add them to tagines, pastas and salad dressings (there are many recipes out there — in fact, I’ve included a simple one below if you want to give it a test run).

 

Black garlic

Another fermented favorite, this one takes a little getting used to because it’s, well, garlic that not only has turned black but also is a different texture than what we are used to. Black garlic has been aged to the point where it tastes almost the exact opposite of what you expect — instead of being strong, spicy, aromatic, it is mild and sweet and takes on a caramelized flavor. It is fantastic just sliced and used as a topping or fried lightly.

 

Celtuce and kale sprouts — the “hybrid” vegetables

I tease a friend of mine who has, um, a vegetable-challenged palate that I have found his worst nightmare: kale sprouts, a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale. I think it’s a great entry point for people who do not like Brussels sprouts. It’s a powerhouse Brassica marriage that combines the nutrition wealth of both vegetables. I like to cut them in half and roast them in the oven until crisp. Like chips. Only healthier.

Another is veggie portmanteau celtuce — lettuce with a stalk that is reminiscent of celery. It is used a lot in Asian cooking and though we don’t usually like lettuce stems, celtuce is valued for exactly that. The stems are flavorful and firm and can take on stronger sauces. I love it SO MUCH. Here is a great primer on how to use it.

 

Food waste

“Food waste” is the new ingredient top restaurants are crazy about. One major reason is that food waste is the largest component in our landfills — causing enough environmental damage that if the waste were a country, it would be the third leading source of greenhouse emissions (behind China and the United States).

Last month, Dan Barber, one of the nation’s most-celebrated chefs, closed his critically acclaimed Blue Hill in New York City for renovations. While that was ongoing, he staged a pop-up restaurant with a rotation of all-star chefs offering a menu replete with food waste. This was Barber’s advocacy for the fact that we waste 40 percent of our food. In our everyday lives, we may not create as inventive dishes as the ones on this menu, but we can use vegetables from root to stalk as a way to prevent waste.

“Root to Stalk" is a great book that teaches how to use all of the parts of a vegetable, including carrot tops (great for pesto!), broccoli stalks (I made that noodle stir-fry pictured with broccoli stalks!), watermelon rinds and even potato peels (hello, best chips ever).

Do you juice? Don’t throw out the pulp! Here are 20 ways to use it. And here’s that killer preserved-lemon recipe I’d mentioned.

 


  Spaghetti with Preserved Lemons and Asparagus

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces pasta, cooked (save a ladleful of pasta water)
  • 2 cups asparagus, cut into 1 inch stalks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons chopped preserved lemons
  • salt
  • pepper


Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, sauté asparagus in olive oil until tender.
  2. Add chopped garlic and stir.
  3. Add preserved lemons.
  4. Add reserved pasta water.
  5.  Toss with pasta, season with salt and pepper.

 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Brazen Kitchen:

Watch Butterjoint’s Will Groves Make Artisanal Cocktails With a GoPro

Watch Butterjoint’s Will Groves Make Artisanal Cocktails With a GoPro

Who says produce can’t be fun? Butterjoint’s bar manager shows us some fresh cocktail tricks.
3 Super-Healthy Summer Smoothies

3 Super-Healthy Summer Smoothies

These nutrient-rich, protein-packed treats are the new breakfast of champions.
Raw Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Raw Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Brazen Kitchen: Forget boring chocolate and flowers. Learn how to make the ultimate Valentine's Day gift.
The Brazen Kitchen Manifesto

The Brazen Kitchen Manifesto

Expand your palate, one vegetable at a time.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

How Well Do You Know Pittsburgh?

How Well Do You Know Pittsburgh?

What do you know about the fountain of youth in North Park? The relics at St. Anthony’s? The history of Pittsburghese? We bring you all this and more in our guide to Pittsburgh lore full of insider info and fun facts. Plus, take our quizzes to test your expertise of all things Pittsburgh.
Are You a Yinzer or a Pretender? Take our Quizzes

Are You a Yinzer or a Pretender? Take our Quizzes

Whether you’ve lived in Pittsburgh your whole life or are a newcomer, there may be things you don’t know about our city — but you should –– so we have these quizzes to test your knowledge of the city’s pop culture, sports, food history and locales.
Restaurant Review: Northeastern Kitchen

Restaurant Review: Northeastern Kitchen

The Squirrel Hill restaurant introduces Pittsburgh to Dongbei cuisine.
Pittsburgh's 12 Essential Restaurants

Pittsburgh's 12 Essential Restaurants

Step-by-step, these establishments helped build our dining scene. Even better, they still have something to offer today.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Pittsburgh's New Airport Design: What It Means for Travelers

Pittsburgh's New Airport Design: What It Means for Travelers

A key goal of the new terminal at Pittsburgh International is to get passengers to their planes faster.

Comments

Defy Winter: 7 Great Ways to Get Moving in March

Defy Winter: 7 Great Ways to Get Moving in March

With spring (hopefully) right around the corner, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy gears up for a month of nature-centered activities.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Cure in Upper Lawrenceville Is Closing

Cure in Upper Lawrenceville Is Closing

Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino's restaurant garnered significant national and local praise during its seven-year run.

Comments

Impossible Burger 2.0 Comes to Pittsburgh

Impossible Burger 2.0 Comes to Pittsburgh

The plant-based meat alternative from Impossible Foods is a significant improvement on its initial offering.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

From ultra-premium experiences to bargains with great views, here are five perfect places to watch the Pens.

Comments

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Don’t resign yourself to the gym treadmills just yet – fall is one of the best times of the year to get outside and pound the pavement, surrounded by falling leaves and the possibility of grabbing a hot latte on the way home.

Comments


Now Open Downtown: Magic Done Right

Now Open Downtown: Magic Done Right

Liberty Magic, the new venue in the Cultural District, is all about perfect presentation.

Comments

Ten Thoughts While Staring at a Golden Eagle

Ten Thoughts While Staring at a Golden Eagle

Reflections upon encountering Autumn, a four-year-old golden eagle now residing at the National Aviary.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers' GM Kevin Colbert Clears the Air on Big Ben

Steelers' GM Kevin Colbert Clears the Air on Big Ben

As a franchise QB with Hall-of-Fame credentials and as the only player in the locker room that’s actually won a Super Bowl in a Steelers’ uniform, Roethlisberger is perfectly positioned, Colbert insists, to run the show.

Comments

Pens Need More from Malkin More Than Anything

Pens Need More from Malkin More Than Anything

Given what he’s capable of, and what we’ve too often seen instead, Evgeni Malkin has been the Pens’ most under-achieving player.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Our Full 2019 Oscar Predictions

Our Full 2019 Oscar Predictions

Somewhere beneath all the headlines and controversies, there are actual awards to hand out.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Fighting With my Family

The 400-Word Review: Fighting With my Family

The rags-to-riches tale is an easy winner, when it's not a straight-up ad for WWE.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Sweet Designs: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

Sweet Designs: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Comments

An Email Spam Filter Delayed their Relationship for Years

An Email Spam Filter Delayed their Relationship for Years

Sometimes, the future love of your life is just around the corner, whether you know it or not.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Upscale Townhouses Slated for Strip District Near Produce Terminal

Upscale Townhouses Slated for Strip District Near Produce Terminal

Part of a three-phase plan, the 3- and 4-bedroom townhouses range in price from the mid-$600,000s up to $1 million.

Comments

Pittsburgh Textile Designer Launches Chic Wallpaper Line

Pittsburgh Textile Designer Launches Chic Wallpaper Line

Savannah Hayes adds six new wallpaper designs to her line of throw blankets, accessories and tea towels.

Comments

Edit Module