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(Black mint marigold; Aji huacatay) Little known outside of the Andes in South America, this herb is essential for traditional Peruvian dishes such as
, a potato dish, and in
, a Peruvian salsa served with grilled chicken and fish. It features also in
, a stew made with pumpkin and potatoes. The taste is a complex mix of basil, tarragon, mint and lime, with an agreeable bitter edge -- which is why it is so intriguing, and addictive! We hear of people who fall in love with this herb, finding that it works well in just about any savoury dish. Vinaigrette? Yes! Marianades for chicken or pork? Yes! Salsas, pestos? Yes! Soups, stews, even pizzas? Yes, yes and yes! One foodie wrote that it is an excellent substitute for cilantro for those who cannot stand that herb. Very easy to grow, but know that it can reach heights of 2m (6ft), so give it room.
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