Two French Recipes for Fennel Pollen

Here’s how to use Fennel Pollen–the French way–with two super-easy recipes for fennel pollen.

I always appreciate a great “Wow! What is it?” ingredient—something that treats everyone at your table to a new taste sensation.

Fennel pollen does just that. Collected from the blooms of wild fennel, the delicate spice recalls the subtle licorice tones of fennel, but in a sweeter, more ethereal way. I use it often as part of a dry rub in meats—I especially love it on pork tenderloin.

Weeknight Porcetta ready for the oven. This is a recipe inspired by Bon Appétit magazine (I use 1 teaspoon fennel pollen rather than the fennel called for in the recipe).

Weeknight Porcetta ready for the oven. This is a recipe inspired by Bon Appétit magazine (I use 1 teaspoon fennel pollen rather than the fennel called for in the recipe).

Bon Appétit magazine has one of my favorite recipes for pork tenderloin (see my ode to it here). It involves wrapping the super-lean piece of meat with bacon, and flavoring it with rosemary and garlic.

Weeknight Porcetta--straight from the oven.

Weeknight Porcetta–straight from the oven.

My number-one use for it, however, is in my Green Olive Tapenade. Serve the tapenade as part of my Happy Hour Crackers. If you read this blog at all, you know this little number: You simply slather some purchased hummus atop a cracker (Trader Joe’s Original Savory Thins are great for this), and top with a wee bit of the tapenade and a little snipped fresh parsley.

Make my Green Olive Tapenade with fennel pollen. You won't be sorry.

Make my Green Olive Tapenade with fennel pollen. You won’t be sorry.

Here’s the recipe for the tapenade:

 

French Green Olive Tapenade with Fennel Pollen
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (8 ounces) pitted large green olives, drained
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fennel pollen
  • ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ¼ teaspoon curry powder
Instructions
  1. Place the olives, oil, garlic, fennel pollen, red pepper flakes, tarragon, and curry powder in a food processor. Process until the mixture becomes a coarse paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Transfer the tapenade to a bowl and serve at room temperature. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in a tightly covered, nonmetal container for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 1 cup.

I’d love to know: How do you use fennel pollen? (Bloggers–feel free to share a recipe link to your blog!)

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