Sweet backbone to Mediterranean cooking
Fennel seeds are indispensable in Mediterranean cuisine. Great in Italian Sunday 'sauce' (tomato sauce) where you choose not to add meat, a great enhancer to steamed fish in parchment. I love to quickly toast the seeds in a skillet to bring out the anise flavor then crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle. When you get a waft of the smoky sweet aroma you'll want to use it everywhere.