Aleppo...where have you been all my life?!
The sweet heat this special spice produces is a gift for any cook. Aleppo pepper, also known as Halaby pepper, is grown in Syria and Turkey and is a staple spice in the Eastern Mediterranean. A friend gave me a jar and suggested I keep it by my stove and just start adding it to different dishes. She promised I would be hooked. She. Was. Correct!
Unlike other peppers that can come on fast and hot, Aleppo pepper takes your palate on a very tasty little journey. Allow it to linger on your tongue and words such as fruity, warm, citrusy, tart, sweet, and smoky come to mind. The depth of flavor is intoxicating and it is why Aleppo pepper marries well with so many ingredients. I have a serious soft spot for this spice.
Aleppo pepper is making appearances in almost everything I cook. From the more obvious places – sprinkled on pasta, pizza and potatoes – to being the now ‘not so secret spice’ in my favorite baked pumpkin meatless balls. It’s amazingly versatile, and can be used to pep up a soup, a grain salad, and just about anything else.
This pretty red spice is earning its keep in my kitchen and I am happy to report that it now has a full time role in my culinary adventures.