New Secret Ingredient: Star Anise

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We keep star anise on-hand in our kitchen and typically use it in savory braises and when poaching fruit. Recently, it's become our secret ingredient in a few of our other basic dishes. Find out which ones after the jump!

At some point, we realized that star anise pairs really well with tomatoes. It's licorice-y flavor actually bears a close resemblance to that of basil, tomato's classic companion. A single pod of star anise flavors a tomato-based sauce or stew with a warm, spicy undertone without overpowering the other flavors in the dish, adding a little 'je ne sais quoi' to your dish.

Give it a try next time you make these recipes!

Basic Tomato Sauce
Ratatouille
Creamy Creamless Tomato Soup
Cincinnatti Chili
Old-Fashioned Sloppy Joes

Oh, just don't forget to discard the star anise pod before serving!

How do you use star anise in your cooking?

Related: Good Reminder: Buy Spices from Bulk Bins

(Image: Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)

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