Also called jaggery, this is a course, unrefined
sugar made from the sap of various palm trees or
from sugar-cane juice. It comes in two forms, a soft
honey butter texture and a harder cake-like texture.
The harder form can be crushed for sprinkling on
Phyllo dough (FEE-low): Tissue-thin layers of
pastry used in Greek and Middle Eastern dishes such
as baklava. Phyllo means "leaves" in Greek; also
called filo. Available frozen in supermarkets.
Pimiento (pih-MEN-toh): Sweet red pepper with
succulent flesh that is more aromatic than that of
its cousin, the red bell pepper. Also called
pimiento, the Spanish word for pepper. Available
fresh in late summer and fall, bottled year-round.
Much of the pimento crop is used to make paprika.
Pine nuts: Seeds from the pine cones of
certain evergreens. Their mild, pine-like flavor is
enhanced by toasting. Also called Indian nuts,
pignolias or pinons.
Pistou (pees-TOO): A mixture of crushed
basil, garlic and olive oil. It's the French version
of Italy's pesto.
Poblano chili: Dark green, shiny, curvaceous
pod about the size of an elongated green bell
pepper. On the heat scale it is medium to hot with a
raisin-like flavor. Look for poblanos in the produce
section of well stocked supermarkets. Poblanos are
stuffed with cheese and coated in an egg batter for
the famous Mexican dish, chiles rellenos.
Polenta: A cornmeal mush that is a staple in
Northern Italy. It is eaten hot like porridge or
cooled and cut into squares that are sometimes
Porcini mushrooms: An edible, wild mushroom
also known as cepes. Pale brown with a smooth, meaty
texture. Seldom available fresh in the U.S., but
often available dried in specialty markets.
Portobello mushrooms: Large tan or brownish
mushrooms with relatively flat caps reaching 6
inches across. Meaty flavor and texture, can be
grilled whole or sliced.
Powdered mustard: Dry mustard packed in a
small, square tin; also called English mustard. Very
Pumpkin seeds: Also known as pepitas, these
are a popular ingredient in Mexican dishes. Freed of
their white hull, the seeds are dark green and have
a delicate flavor that can be heightened by toasting
in a dry pan. Purchase shelled at natural foods
store and Mexican markets.