Fenugreek is that funny little oblong seed that you may have in your kitchen for use in the occasional curry recipe. I’ve also seen Fenugreek leaves sold fresh as they are used to balance the spiciness and sweetness in certain recipes. I’ve never used them, but we’ve grown the shoots in the past and I thought they were alright. Alright enough to share some with you this week! Beware, they have undertones of bitterness, so are best used on something with a strong flavour or used sparingly. I enjoyed them mixed into salads or on top of soup or eggs.
North America has such a sweet tooth, however many other cultures embrace bitter. In the case of shoots like Fenugreek and Sunflower, it’s a sign that the plant is rich in chlorophyll. Endive is another vegetable that has a bitter flavour, and it’s not a vegetable we use much here but I saw it lots in Europe. So, these taste like they’re good for you, and they are!
Here’s a great article all about Fenugreek with lots of ideas of how to use it!
Season: We will probably keep this as a special production for our Spring Shoots CSA Program and future winter growing projects, but we may produce some for the early spring markets as well.
Storage Tips: They should be rinsed just before use. We don’t wash any shoots at the farm as they degrade quickly when wet. If you get them home and there is condensation (wetness) in the bag, make sure to insert a piece of towel or switch them to a dry bag so they will keep well. They will store well covered (in a bag or container) in your fridge for a long time, but are best enjoyed within a week of when you buy them.
Preparation Tips: (from link above) Fresh leaves are used as leafy greens in curries (especially with potatoes), or folded into fry-breads. When dried, the leaves retain most of their flavor and make excellent last-minute additions to sauces, curries, and soup. The seeds benefit from longer cooking to infuse with other flavors, so when a recipe calls for fenugreek I like to start with the seeds and finish with the leaves (or in this case, Shoots!). This two-stage approach “refreshes” the spice, giving you the best of long-cooked flavors and barely-heated aromas.