There’s nothing like fresh-ground nutmeg. The pre-ground product is pallid in comparison.
You may use nutmeg in baking—custards and pumpkin pie, spice cakes and cookies—and it’s de rigueur in egg nog. But what about savory uses?
Following the demise of our decades-old nutmeg mill, we’ve been enjoying our new chrome nutmeg mill from William Bounds. We’ve been adding daily grinds of fresh nutmeg to coffee, eggs and greens.
We asked THE NIBBLE’s chef Johnny Gnall how he uses nutmeg. Here are his favorite uses, along with some musings on nutmeg:
Nutmeg is a bit of an unsung hero. It’s used in a surprisingly large number of recipes and dishes, but it’s rare that you notice it, especially up front on your palate. In fact, that’s kind of the point. Nutmeg is a spice often used to accent other flavors, the same way a recipe uses salt to bring out the flavor of other ingredients.
Nutmeg. Photo courtesy Spice Islands.
Nutmeg is often perceived as a “holiday spice,” but it’s delicious year-round. As with other spices, use it up as quickly as you can. Even a whole nutmeg in an airtight jar will dry out in a few years. If you’ve had the nutmeg for a while, pierce it with a pin. If you get a droplet of oil, the spice is still lively.
10 SAVORY SHOWCASES FOR NUTMEG
In desserts, nutmeg is often combined with allspice, cinnamon and clove. But nutmeg on its own is a pretty delicious flavor.
Nutmeg is also a strong flavor, so you only need it in very small doses. Even a pinch can pack a punch that will kick things up a notch.
Here are 10 ways to give new punch to your recipes with nutmeg. Remember to use it sparingly: Start with a tiny bit, taste often and pump the brakes as soon as its flavor gets to the front of your palate.
1. Bacon & Pork Belly
William Bounds nutmeg mill. Photo courtesy
Roasted carrots with nutmeg is easy and will knock your socks off. Just toss roasted carrots in a bit of melted butter and season with fresh-ground nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Goat Cheese & Burrata
A bowl of warm, toasted hazelnuts sprinkled with nutmeg is as perfect a holiday party snack as you can find. But don’t wait for the holidays: Serve them year-round with cocktails, wine and beer.
8. Scalloped Potatoes
9. Spinach & Collard Greens
10. Squash & Squash Soup
The nutmeg tree produces two different spices, nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg is the seed of the fruit that grows on the tree, and mace is made from a red substance that covers it.