Aromatic, pungent and spicy, ginger adds a special flavor and zest to Asian stir fries and many fruit and vegetable dishes. Try adding thin slivers to your poached fruit recipes or compotes. Grate the ginger root and add to your vegetable recipes as you boil or stem them. Fresh ginger root is available year round in the produce section of your local market.
When choosing a ginger root to buy, choose a piece which is smooth and unblemished. It should be crisp, not limp. Fresh ginger will keep for a week at room temperature and for about two months in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap or a zip lock bag. You can grate it and freeze it or peel and slice it into a jar of vodka or dry sherry that’s kept in the refrigerator to insure that you always have it on hand. Don’t forget it is the root of a plant. Stick it in a pot of dirt and see if it doesn’t sprout giving you and endless supply of this delightful spice.
Try peeling ginger using a spoon or a grapefruit spoon. To grate it easily store it in the freezer for 30 minutes and use a microplane.
Roasted Winter Vegetables with Maple-Ginger
- 1-1/2 lb. combination of parsnips, carrots, and turnips peeled and cut into 2×1/2-inch sticks
- 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed; large sprouts halved
- 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into very thin matchsticks
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Spread the vegetables and the ginger matchsticks in a large, low-sided roasting pan. Toss with the butter so that they’re just one layer deep and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast in a 425 degree oven, tossing a couple of times, until tender and golden brown in spots, about 30 minutes.
- Combine the grated ginger and maple syrup. Drizzle the vegetables with the maple-ginger mixture, toss, and roast for another 5 minutes.
Ginger-Shitake Glaze for Broiled Salmon
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
- 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2lb. piece of salmon for broiling
- Cook the red pepper, scallions, and ginger in oil, stirring occasionally, until the red pepper and scallions start to soften and brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, raise the heat to medium high, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until they soften and start to brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add the honey, vinegar, soy sauce, chili sauce, and 1/4 cup water, and bring to a simmer. Whisk the cornstarch with 1 tsp. water and stir into the glaze. Return to a simmer and cook until the glaze thickens, about 1 minute.
- Spoon the glaze over the salmon during its last few minutes of broiling time. Return to the oven and broil for about 1 more minute so the glaze browns and the salmon almost completely cooks through (check by using a paring knife to flake a thicker part of the fillet).