Vanilla beans and extracts lend a much-loved flavor to sweets, but there are just as many savory uses for this exotic fruit.
October 30, 2007
1 of 9Photo: Beau Gustafson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine
A Teaspoon of Flavor
Use vanilla to add rich flavor to sweet and savory dishes alike. Use it in your regular poundcake recipe and you'll see the difference, then try it in salad dressings, marinades, custards, and dessert sauces.
2 of 9Photography: Karry Hosford
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée Recipe Steeping a vanilla bean in the milk used to make the custard, and scraping seeds from that bean into the milk, gives this easy brûlée a wonderfully intense vanilla flavor. If you don't have a blow torch, check out our simple stovetop sugar topping.
3 of 9Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke
Fish in Paper Parcels with Leeks, Fennel, Chives, and Vanilla
Vanilla Custard Crumble with Mixed Berries Recipe While the custard is made with a vanilla bean, the crumble topping is a simple mixture of crushed vanilla wafers, butter, egg white and vanilla extract. It's easy to make up both in advance and then add berries or any seasonal fruit.
5 of 9Becky Luigart-Stayner
Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake
Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake Recipe Made with cake flour and a dozen egg whites, this moist cake is fragrant with vanilla. That's because the sugar for the cake is infused with the seeds of a whole vanilla bean before being added to the batter.
6 of 9Howard L. Puckett
Vanilla Balsamic Chicken
Vanilla Balsamic Chicken Recipe As they roast, chicken thighs are infused with the flavors of balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, orange, and a whole vanilla bean. Rather than stand out, vanilla harmonizes and complements the other flavors. Substitute chicken breasts if you'd like.
7 of 9Becky Luigart-Stayner
Mixed Salad with Vanilla-Pear Vinaigrette and Toasted Walnuts
Vanilla Cream Sauce Recipe Drizzle this easy cream sauce over fresh berries, bread pudding, or any dessert that needs a special finishing touch. It's a slam-dunk over chocolate ice cream, and the fact that it's made with vanilla extract keeps things simple.