Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Inspiring Ingredient: Cardamom

cardamom-collage

As temperatures begin to cool, this month’s inspiring ingredient is here to warm things up – cardamom! A member of the ginger family of plants, cardamom, native to India and Nepal, is used in cuisine throughout the world. With a strong, aromatic taste, cardamom adds its unique flavor to many dishes from masala chai to traditional sweet breads. Cardamom’s popularity makes it the third most expensive spice globally, just behind saffron and vanilla. Interestingly, Guatemala is the world’s largest producer of cardamom.

We love cardamom here at Mezze and Dolce. Mostly, we use it in recipes that are on the sweeter side, but we’re not opposed to adding it to savory stews and soups or to warming beverages (coffee, tea). In fact, in the winter months, Jacque is known to stick a cardamom pod or two right in the coffee grinder with her morning beans for a spicier blend of joe.

Buying and Storing
There are several different types of cardamom; white, green, and black. Cardamom is sold in whole pod form as well as a grounded powder. Green cardamom is what you are likely most used to seeing in pods. Most powders are predominantly green cardamom as well, though you can find the other varieties in specialty spice shops. We recommend having both pods and powder on hand. They will retain their spice power nicely in airtight containers for up to a year.

From the M & D Blog Reel
Below are a few of our favorite cardamom recipes from the M&D kitchen. Click here for a more comprehensive list of recipes featuring this inspiring aromatic spice. And please let us know if you make one!

Chocolate Spice Cake with Toasted Hazelnuts
Pumpkin Cardamom Cupcakes
Strawberry, Pistachio, & Cardamom Crumble
Cardamom Rose Rice Pudding

In the M&D Test Kitchen Queue
Cardamom will be in heavy rotation in the coming cooler months. Here are a few recipes that have our attention and our imagination.

Mezze
Warm Swiss Chard and Acorn Squash with Orange Vinaigrette
Citrus Fennel Salad with Pistachios
Winter Squash with Spiced Butter
Sweet Potato and Leek Cakes with Cardamom

Dolce
Persimmon Cardamom Honey Ice Cream {Ah! We need this right now!}
Saffron and Cardamom Doughnuts with Pistachios
Cardamom and Brandy Poached Figs
Cardamom Pound Cake

What are your favorite cardamom dishes? Let us know by commenting here or on the M & D Facebook page!

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2 comments on “Inspiring Ingredient: Cardamom

  1. Thanks for including my figs in your round up of my favorite spice! I just made apple cardamom jam yesterday, I can’t get enough of the stuff. Looking forward to exploring your list…

    • mezzeanddolce
      November 5, 2013

      Of course! They look delicious. And Apple Cardamom Jam sounds amazing. Jacque once brought back some Fig-Cardamom jam from Yotam Ottolenghi’s shop in London, and it was to die for. We’ll be sharing a recipe for Apple Cardamom Handpies later this week!

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This entry was posted on November 5, 2013 by in Ingredient, M & D Inspiration and tagged .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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