Magic Recipes With Magic Spice


These plant-forward recipes from our friend and collaborator Heather Sperling of Botanica utilize our two favorite spice blends: magic spice and mushroom magic spice. Created in collaboration with Botanica restaurant in Los Angeles, these thoughtfully-sourced, ingredient-focused spice blends rely on the botanical world to bring out the best in seasonal produce while adding dimension and range to meals. Welcome in the magic of plants.

Magic Spiced Japanese Sweet Potatoes

By Heather Sperling

Serves 3-4 as a side dish



6 Japanese sweet potatoes

Extra-virgin olive oil

The Magic Spice

1.5 cups plain yogurt

Sea salt

2 garlic cloves

1 Persian cucumber



Add a few sprigs of dill into a large pot of salty water, boil the Japanese sweet potatoes until fully cooked but not too soft (you want to take them out when they're still ever-so slightly al dente). Let cool, then halve lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and season the cut sides liberally with Magic Spice. 


Place the yogurt in a bowl and season with sea salt. Mince the garlic cloves or grate on a microplane, and stir into the yogurt. Grate the cucumber on a box grater, strain off the excess liquid, and add it to the yogurt. Mince the dill and stir that in as well.   


Sear the sweet potatoes, cut-side-down, in olive oil (preferably in a cast-iron pan -- or on a grill, if you have one), until caramelized. Swoosh the cucumber yogurt across a serving plate and lay the sweet potatoes, cut-side-up, on top of the yogurt. Finish with another sprinkle of Magic Spice and a drizzle of olive oil.



Roasted Squash with Mushroom Magic Spice & Salsa Verde

Serves 2-3 as a main dish; 4-6 as a side dish 

By Heather Sperling


2-3 medium-sized kabocha squash (or 3-4 delicata squash, or a combination of both)2 heaping tablespoons Mushroom Magic Spice, plus more for garnishing
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salsa Verde (recipe below)
Pickled Onions (no-recipe recipe below)
Tender bitter greens (for garnish), like frilly mustard, arugula or watercress



Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper. With a sturdy knife, trim off the stem and bottom nub of your squash. Halve it lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place cut-side down and slice into wedges. Toss the squash wedges with olive oil and Mushroom Magic Spice, ensuring that they're coated evenly and well. Roast until caramelized and soft. Serve the squash sprinkled with more Mushroom Magic Spice, with salsa verde spooned liberally over top. Scatter diced pickled onions and tuck in leaves of tiny bitter greens. 




Botanica’s Salsa Verde

Yield ~ 2 cups salsa verde 


1 large shallot
1 teaspoon red wine or sherry vinegar
preserved lemon
1 large clove garlic
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped (tender stems are okay, too!)
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped (leaves and stems!)
A pinch of aleppo pepper
1½ cups mild extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary



Finely chop the shallot and add to the vinegar to macerate. Remove the seeds from the preserved lemon, finely chop, and add to the shallot-vinegar mixture. Mince the garlic clove and add to the mixture. Finely chop the herbs; add those in, along with a sprinkle of aleppo pepper and sea salt. In a small saute pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chopped rosemary, let sizzle for a minute, then remove from the heat. Let cool to room temperature, then add to the herb mixture. Stir well to combine, and then taste for seasoning. You’re looking for a balance of acid, salinity, and herby freshness. If it tastes too harsh, add a few more splashes of olive oil. Add salt as needed. If you want it brighter, add more vinegar or a squeeze of fresh lemon. It’ll keep in your fridge for a week!



Pickled Onions 

Cut a red onion into thirds or quarters; peel off the outer three layers of onion petals and cut them into small squares (aka small dice). Save the inside for another use. In a pot, combine champagne vinegar (or a similar mild vinegar), water and sugar in a 4:2:1 ratio, and heat until the sugar is fully dissolved. Pour over the diced onion and let sit for at least 15 minutes, until the onions have turned a bright, neon pink. Store in the fridge in their brine (they'll last for ages!).


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