Things I Love

July 10, 2013

Fennel Pollen

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I wish you could smell the fragrance of this gorgeous yelllow-green pollen, which is filling the air as I sit here.  This jar's not new – it's been sitting in my spice cupboard for more than a year – but the scent is so powerful and fresh I can easily imagine myself onto a Tuscan hillside, with fennel spilling down the mountainside around me.

Fennel pollen, with its warm anise aroma, is a wonderful addition to a spice cupboard; it has an untamed wildness that improves so many dishes. Dust it onto chicken as it goes into the oven, or onto lamb chops just before serving. Sprinkle it into a pasta sauce to make it brighter. Fennel pollen loves goat cheese, it goes gorgeously with a bit of orange zest, and it's a great addition to an olive oil pound cake. It tames broccoli rabe, too, adding a sweet sultry note to the bitter greens. 

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