Spice of the Month: Black Pepper

Spice of the Month: Black Pepper

By Laura Coffee, Marketing & Owner Services Manager, Co-op Owner

Freshly ground black pepper is such a different thing than the slightly peppery dust you find in the half empty shaker in a diner booth or the barely there taste of a bottle left too long at the back of the cupboard. Fresh pepper has a real kick to it – along with a subtle heat and pleasantly woody, herbaceous notes. The best pepper taste comes from grinding your own right before you use it. Of course, that’s not always an option, so we recommend choosing coarse ground pepper whenever possible. It retains its flavor much longer than the powdery finely ground alternative. To participate in future installments of our Spice of the Month series visit CRDL.

Leave part of the cream cheese uncovered.

Kicky Radish Wraps

  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 6 fresh radishes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 3 tortillas (soft taco size)
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp season salt

Set the cream cheese out in a bowl to soften. Remove the seeds from the cucumber, but leave the skin on. Cut the radishes and cucumber into small chunks and pulse them in the food processor until they reach the texture of a fine dice. (You can also dice them by hand if you prefer.) Set this mixture aside. Add the black pepper and season salt to the cream cheese and mix until well-combined. Spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture evenly over one of the tortillas. Place 1/3 of the veggie mixture on one side of the tortilla and spread evenly, leaving about an inch of the cream cheese exposed. Roll the tortilla up, ending at the exposed side to seal it closed, and slice into six equal pieces.

Other ways to enjoy black pepper:

They make a satisfying snack!
  • On eggs or hash browns.
  • As a finishing touch on salads.
  • In vinaigrettes and other dressings.
  • On tart fruits like pineapple and stone fruits.
  • On dairy desserts, like ice cream or pumpkin cheesecake.
  • In white sauce. (Great contrast of flavor and color.)
  • On roasted sweet potatoes.
  • With sauteed greens.
  • In homemade chai tea.
  • On mac & cheese.
  • On baked or sauteed tofu.
  • On fish with a touch of lemon.
  • Sprinkled on a bowl of tomato soup just before dipping your grilled cheese.

Tip: If you are going to add black pepper to grilled foods, add it at the end after you remove it from the grill. Pepper tastes great with the caramelized sweetness of grilled meats, veggies, and fruits, but it can cause smokey flare-ups during cooking.

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