I told this story elsewhere on my blog, about a Cassoulet I tried from one of Michael Chiarello‘s recipes. Well, frankly, the Cassoulet was a big hiss-boo. What wasn’t was the Brussels Sprouts (just one component of the overly complicated Cassoulet) sprinkled with this fantastic Fennel Spice Rub. Out of this world fantastic!
When I was putting that Cassoulet together, I kept nibbling on the Brussels Sprouts and had to remake the entire batch!
I sprinkle this Fennel Spice Rub on vegetables, especially on Brussels Sprouts, sometimes on chicken breast, hamburgers or pork chops, and on pita chips. I use it also in my Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Rhubarb Cranberry Compote. Who would have thought that Rhubarb, Fennel and Coriander would be such a fantastic counterpoint to each other?
My newest experiment with this fantastic rub is the Chicken & Ricotta Meatballs used for so many recipes, including Italian Wedding Soup.
Heck, it pretty goes on anything I have on hand when I happen to see the jar of magic in the cupboard. And I’m not even a huge fennel fan!
Michael Chiarello's Fennel Spice Rub
- 1 cup fennel seeds
- 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons white peppercorns *
- 3 tablespoons grey salt (I use sea salt or kosher – see conversion chart)
Toast whole spices until just fragrant in a dry skillet. Let cool, then grind. (If you don’t let them cool, they will gum up.) Mix together and use it to sprinkle on any manner of things.
* if you can’t find white peppercorns, use about a tablespoon of powdered white pepper. Black pepper does not give the same flavor to the spice rub.
If you’d like to see more of my spice & herb blends, check out Spice, Herb & Flavor Packet Substitutes. I’m adding as I go along!