Browse our exquisite collection of nutmeg recipes, including Marcello Tully's pinhead oat porridge, Tom Aikens' fish pie, and Dominic Chapman's Christmas pudding.
The aroma of freshly grated nutmeg is powerful, pleasant stuff: spicy, strong and sweet. It's no wonder the Romans used nutmeg as incense, and it's also no wonder why you don't need much nutmeg to flavour a dish.
Whole nutmegs are the seeds of the nutmeg tree, round and roughly textured, about the size of a small grape. Nutmeg can be purchased whole or ground and there's no denying that freshly grated whole nutmeg is the superior form. But pre-ground nutmeg is not to be scoffed at. The convenience of ground nutmeg makes it ideal for a whole range of dishes, particularly cakes, biscuits and sweet pies.
Nutmeg is usually associated with sweet desserts and breads, where it's typically found alongside other warm spices like cinnamon and allspice. Shaun Rankin uses it to spice up apples in his apple muffins, whilst Marcus Wareing sprinkles fresh grated nutmeg over the top of his custard tart for both style and punch.
Nutmeg can also add depth of flavour to savoury dishes. In Italian cuisine, a grating of fresh nutmeg is often added to the fillings of lasagna and ravioli. Try it in Paul Heathcote's quick and tasty spaghetti piemontesi recipe, or do as Josh Eggleton does and add a couple pinches of nutmeg to potato dauphinoise.