Sold dried in Alberta, these aromaticleaves add depth to virtually any soup,stew, rice or grain dish. The longerthey cook, the more complex theirflavour becomes.
Oyster, button, shiitake, cremini,chanterelle and enokii . . . the optionsare endless. Mushrooms have a meatytaste and texture that can standup to grilling, searing, sautéing andmore. A blend of mushrooms cancreate a richer, more intense flavour,recommends Centini.
A staple in Indian and Southeast Asianfoods, turmeric adds subtle bitter,orange and ginger flavours, and a vividyellow hue to dishes. “It has someanti-inflammatory effects and, wheneaten three times a day, may helpto reduce cholesterol levels,” saysSekulic. Commonly sold as a powder,turmeric is also widely available in theproduce section of Alberta grocerystores as a fresh root.
A cook’s secret weapon, citruslightens any dish, from soupsto heavy sauces andbeyond. Add a squeezeof lemon for a sour tang,in place of salt, or to bringout other flavours in the dish.For a more subtletaste, grate thezest (the outerlayer of the peel).
“If onion and garlichad a baby, itwould be shallots”says Centini. Theyare sweeter, milderand less aggressivein taste than onionand garlic.
Finely diced fresh gingeradds sweetness to anydish. It can helpsome pregnantwomen withnausea,too. To makeyour gingerlast, storein the freezerand gratefrozen with a microplaneinto dishes.
We’re talkin’ the fresh stuff, which is anentirely different flavour from dried. Thefiner you chop it, the more intense theflavour becomes. Cook slowly and gentlyto tame that intensity. Trust us.