Booze, dessert, and a dish covered in cheese—black pepper is coming out of the shadows and taking center stage.
If you’ve ever wondered what black pepper is, it’s actually a dried berry. It’s the key to a balanced dish—next to salt—and as you might see in all of our recipes, we always call for pepper straight out of the grinder. When it’s ground, instead of the pre-ground pepper sold at the grocery store, the flavor of the peppercorns are bolder. But freshly ground black pepper or crushed black peppercorns (whatever your preference) is not just for savory dishes. Yes, it’s a non-negotiable in the Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower recipe below, but it’s also a striking addition in mulled wine made with fresh ginger and also easy homemade chocolate truffles. Take the easy ideas below and give new life to an everyday ingredient. One teaspoon is about 100 grinds, but don’t worry: it goes fast. A small tabletop coffee grinder or this gorgeous spice grinder can help. A little pinch bowl of freshly ground black pepper is always nice to have around, too.