Nutmeg is native to the spice islands of Indonesia. It is a warm intensely aromatic bitter/sweet spice that should be used sparingly as it can be overpowering in dishes. Nutmeg is used in Middle Eastern cuisine to add flavour to lamb dishes, in Italian cooking to add warmth to sauces for pasta, veal, sausages or spinach and in France for classically slow braised casseroles and ragouts. Ground nutmeg (as a fine powder) is often more suitable for baking and pastry applications and when used to "dust" over desserts such as baked custards.
Uses and Ideas! ©
- Make a healthy mashed potato (chefs tip - use desiree potatoes) by using a combination of olive oil/butter or olive oil only. Add a small pinch of nutmeg when mixing.
- Add a pinch of nutmeg to pan-fried prawns or simple tomato sauces to serve with linguine, tagliatelle or penne.
- Add ground nutmeg to roast wedges of pumpkin, homemade pumpkin pie, pumpkin/date scones/muffins.
- Add a pinch of ground nutmeg to fennel and cheese gratins, light sauces finished with cream fraiche for chicken/veal or sautéed cabbage with bacon or speck.