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Ingredient

Juniper Berries

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What is it?

Juniper berries, from the coniferous juniper tree, are the primary aromatic component in gin.

In cooking, juniper is often used to lend a bright, resinous flavor to fatty, deeply flavored ingredients like wild game, duck, and choucroute (the Alsatian sauerkraut and sausage dish).

Although junipers grow wild in North America, the berries we find in stores are usually dried and imported from Eastern Europe. Dried juniper berries, which look a bit like small, dark blueberries, are available in specialty markets and online at Kalustyans.com.

How to prep:

For the best flavor, buy whole berries and grind them yourself. Like most spices, juniper quickly loses its potency once ground, so grind only as much as you need for a given recipe.

How to store:

Stored in a tightly sealed container, whole juniper berries will last for up to 2 years.

    Recipes

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    Sweet-and-Sour Pickled Beets with Spring Onions

    These beautiful magenta pickles, spiced with juniper, clove, bay leaf, and cinnamon, are delicious alongside simple roast chicken or fish. Spring onions will lend a mild onion flavor, while scallions…

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    Grilled Pork Belly with Razor Clams and Black Garlic Vinaigrette

    The black garlic that is used in this vinaigrette is traditional whole garlic that’s undergone a fermentation process, resulting in a milder, sweeter flavor and dramatic-looking cloves.

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    Warm Beet and Strawberry Salad with Lardo and Cava Vinaigrette

    Salty crumbled ricotta salata and lardo (cured pork fat back), with its melt-in-your mouth texture and rich pork flavor, complement sweet roasted beets and juicy strawberries.

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    Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Salsa Verde

    This unusual salsa verde includes the garlicky flavor of pickled spring ramps (along with their briny pickling liquid), and heat of Aleppo pepper flakes, which are milder than traditional red…

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    Pacific Northwestern Roast Turkey and Gravy

    Piny juniper berries in a savory butter rub lend some West Coast flavor to this roast turkey, while they gravy gets its flavor and slightly chunky texture from a generous…

  • Recipe

    Grape-Cucumber Ice Pops

    There's nothing quite so refreshing as these cool-as-a-cucumber pops on a hot, sticky day. Juniper berries infuse the base of puréed green grapes, with diced cucumbers adding a little crunch.…

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    Herb-and-Salt-Crusted Standing Rib Roast with Morel Sauce

    A salt, herb, and flour crust blankets the standing rib roast while it cooks, sealing in all the juices and infusing the meat with flavor. The result is a tender,…

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    Twice-Marinated Mushrooms

    These mushrooms get lots of flavor from a quick sear, although they keep a nice, chewy texture because they’re not cooked all the way through. The wine-and-vinegar marinade infuses them…

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    Roasted Turkey with Juniper-Ginger Butter & Pan Gravy

    Brining the turkey and rubbing an intensely flavored butter under the skin before roasting guarantees a juicy bird.

  • Recipe

    Brined & Grilled Chicken

    I like to cut up my own chicken, but if you buy preportioned chicken, cut the breasts in half to make manageable pieces. I like to brine the chicken pieces…

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