A strong flavored Mexican herb that some describe as tasting like kerosene or gasoline. It has been popular in Mexican and Carribean cuisines dating back to the Aztecs who used it for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. Although epazote is poisonous in large quantities, it is used in moderation to help relieve gas that comes from eating beans. Use it to season a variety of dishes including beans, soups, salads and quesadillas. The older leaves have a stronger flavor and should be used sparingly. Younger leaves have a milder, yet richer flavor. Because of its distinct flavor there really aren't any substitutes, but if you can't find fresh epazote, it is available in a dried form at many Latin markets or online.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Many people use epazote fresh in salads, soups, stews and meats and especially to enhance mushrooms, bean- and chile-based foods such as refried beans (frijoles refritos), frijoles negros, moles, or rice and beans. It is usually added toward the end of cooking to prevent bitterness in the finished product. Epazote can also be used in tea.
Epazote goes well with salsas, lime, chipotle peppers, cheeses, beans, cumin, garlic, onions and corn. It can be used in tortilla soups, fillings and toppings, moles, quesadillas, soups, and stews.
Conserving and Storing
Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.