Rue, too

SoCalJJuly 7, 2013

Hey all! Any experience with using rue in dishes? I love the taste it gives to some cajun and Mediterranean food I've tried, but was told that too much can cause some unwanted reactions. How much do you use? And what do you add it to?

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Ruta graveolens is strong medicine and a herb I have never cooked with nor, until reading your post, heard of anyone else using. What Mediterranean food did you have it in? Google reveals that it is sometimes eaten but it seems unusual. The link has lots of references.

More info here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Ruta graveolens

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 5:16AM
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nickl(Z7a NJ)

I hope you aren't confusing "rue" with "roux".

Rue did have culinary and medicinal uses in times past. It was apparently used quite a bit in ancient and medieval cooking.

However, it is incredibly bitter. Also, some people can experience severe discomfort on ingesting it, even in small quantities and even when it is mixed with other ingredients, And, it can have adverse effects during pregnancy. So one assumes it always had to be used with care as to quantity

Because Its flavor profile and extreme bitterness does not typically suit modern tastes, not to mention all of its potentially adverse reactions, its culinary use has declined considerably..

Finally, it is extremely difficult to find unless you grow it yourself because it isn't in the usual commercial channels.

In fact, for all the reasons cited above, it is largely unknown as an ingredient today and most chefs and cooks don't use it at all.

I'm curious which contemporary recipes would call for it.

This post was edited by nickl on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 11:30

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 11:03AM
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I don't use it in our food, but it's a great butterfly host plant! The Black Swallowtail and the Giant Swallowtai caterpillars sometimes are found on it. Also, mine blooms during winter (as well as most of the rest of the year)...and that makes it valuable to me as a nectar plant when not much else is blooming. But I'm down in Texas. Don't know if it blooms in winter in more northern states.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:30AM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

Over the years I have nibbled on small portions of the leaves with no ill effects.

Here is a link that might be useful: rue information

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:23PM
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My Eritrean housekeeper was thrilled to see rue in my garden, and I helped her obtain a plant for her garden. It is an important medicinal herb in Eritrea, and she used it when her children would get sick. Despite knowing her for many years, I never could really understand her explanation of exactly how she used it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:28PM
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nickl(Z7a NJ)

Regional cuisine from NE Africa (Ethiopian, Eritrean, Somalian) does make use of different parts of the rue plant as common ingredients.

But the OP was referring to Cajun and Mediterranean foods.. That was the context of my reply.

Regardless, everything that I said about its side effects is still correct,

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:29AM
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It is such a charming plant isn't it! I don't use mine for anything other than its good looks and attractiveness to butterflies. I even like the yellow-green flowers, speaking of which; I have a fine crop of seeds coming up, if anyone is interested, I can send you some... well providing they don't rot from the darn rain we've being betting.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 8:48AM
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