If you love to cook restaurant-quality meals at home, your palate is likely a step above average. If you’re also living on a budget, be sure to check out these gourmet ingredients from your local Trader Joe’s grocery. Here are my best Trader Joe’s gourmet finds that won’t upset your pocketbook.
Many of Trader Joe’s dried spices are budget-friendly and flavorful. Their Saffron is no exception; as one of the most expensive spices in the world, you’ll find their cute, mini glass jar of Saffron threads for less than $7 for .02 ounces. It’s perfect in Spanish dishes like paella.
Himalayan Salt with Truffles
This is a more recent gourmet find on the shelves at Trader Joe’s. Truffles are one of the top delicacies in the world, and because they are hard to cultivate, their cost can run up to multiple thousands of dollars! Trader Joe’s salt with truffles is just as flavorful and the real deal. There’s a generous sprinkling of truffle specks throughout the jar. It’s perfect for potatoe dishes and as a finishing salt on entrees.
Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
This is another gourmet treat offered by TJ’s. It’s a super flavorful vinegar perfect for dressings and marinades. Mix one part of this vinegar with one part olive oil and salt and pepper for an easy dressing for a spinach salad. It’s tart and fresh-tasting. You won’t be disappointed.
Dried, Pitted Dark Cherries
These are a gourmet steal! They don’t have added sugar–they’re simply tart, a little sweet and chewy. They are perfect in salads or homemade trail mixes. You can also reconstitute them in a little bit of water and use them in special cocktails. I’ve never tried them in baking, but I would assume they would work as well as other dried fruit in biscotti or muffins.
In most locations you can find both toasted and raw pignolias. They of course are crunchy and nutty on their own, but add them to salads or buy them for homemade pesto.