The last time you experienced the piney, citrusy flavor of juniper was likely on the business end of a dry martini. But the conifer’s fragrant fruit (botanically closer to a tiny, dense pine cone) pops up all across Europe in non-alcoholic fare, too. The berries are a key ingredient in choucroute garnie, that hearty Alsatian braise of sauerkraut and pork. Juniper’s used to coat the outside of cheeses, including Italy’s Pecorino Ginepro and Corsica’s fleur du maquis. And we’ve discovered that a few berries add a lovely kick to cranberry sauce—just be sure to strain them out before serving, as they’re not so pleasant to chew. Brian Klutch
Braised Pork with Juniper Berries
Pan-seared and shallow braised in an aromatic sauce of white wine perfumed with juniper—the key flavoring component of gin—and rosemary.
Pork and Duck Sausage
Most sausage recipes call for a meat mixture that is about 30 percent fat—using too much can yield a link that is more greasy than luxurious. Here, Russell Moore of Camino in Oakland, California, combines pork belly with rich duck liver and skinless duck breast—fatty duck skin is too tough—for a perfectly tender sausage.