This Cheery Luncheon Features Global Spices and a Throwback Tablescape

green and blue spring tablescape with women in background
Photo: Victoria Pearson

A throwback makes a comeback as the venerable punch bowl goes from retro entertaining staple to the heart of a modern-day table presentation.

01 of 15

Bringing Back Elaborate Entertaining

arched doorway with formal green and blue spring table
Victoria Pearson

Relics of yesteryear's elaborate entertaining protocol had been left to languish: lovely old things labeled impractical in the modern-day world of casual gatherings. But lifestyle and entertaining authority Kimberly Schlegel Whitman sees a new future for one important piece from festivities past.

02 of 15

The Power of Nostalgia

woman smiling and offering punch to friend
Victoria Pearson

In her latest book, Parties Around a Punch Bowl, the author makes it her mission to show today's hosts how to dip into the power of nostalgic charm. She illustrates how to pull a punch bowl out of the cupboard to become the life of the party.

"Punch bowls are great to keep both guests and flavors moving," she says. "They prompt people to get up and refill a glass on their own. And as the ingredients for a specific recipe run out, it's easy to direct the drink's flavor profile in a different direction."

03 of 15

Table Set in Style

green and blue spring tablescape with women in background
Victoria Pearson

For a spring luncheon in her parents' Beverly Hills, California, home, Kimberly played up the theme of her book, weaving punch bowls into the setting and showing off their versatility.

A vintage silver punch bowl with paisley detail and a plate painted in malachite green and blue launched a table setting that is rich in color and pattern.

On a table dressed in "Gautier Print" in blue by Brunschwig & Fils and Fabricut's "Topaz" taffeta in lime sits a color suite of accoutrements: "Oriente Italiano" dinner plates from Richard Ginori, "Fretwork" linen napkins from Halo Home, "Fern" crystal stemware from William Yeoward Crystal, "Windsor" julep cups from Reed & Barton, and place cards and menu cards from Bell'Invito.

04 of 15

Layers of Pattern

vibrant green and blue place setting with bold plate
Victoria Pearson

"I've always loved this pattern and its vibrant green-and-blue coloration," Kimberly says of the dinner plate. "It gave me an idea about how to incorporate a punch bowl on the table."

The table scheme displays layers of lavish decoration. A lime green taffeta cloth topped with an embroidered blue-and-white botanical textile establishes a bold color statement. Additional pattern comes into play on the porcelain dinnerware. A service plate, bordered in a dainty blue-and-white lace motif, provides a delicate base to the bright green scalloped dinner plates. Linen napkins in cornflower blue are edged in white fretwork embroidery.

05 of 15

Bountiful Green Centerpiece

green centerpiece with artichokes, pears, apples, limes and avocado
Victoria Pearson

The punch bowl centerpiece sets aside an expected flower arrangement to spotlight a bounty of green edibles. Artichokes, pears, apples, limes, and avocados are stylishly stacked to create an arresting focal point with height that balances the intricate rock crystal chandelier. At each setting, an individual silver julep cup holds an artichoke and offsets the formality of a calligraphed place card.

Crafted from a selection of green edibles placed into a sterling "White Paisley" punch bowl by Gorham through Replacements, the centerpiece was created by Carly Cylinder, florist and author of The Flower Chef.

06 of 15

Surprising Menu

woman at table laughing with friends and soup bowls
Victoria Pearson

The menu also offers surprising spices with far-flung origins. Deviled eggs boast a Mideastern twist with za'atar (sesame, dried thyme, and sumac) mixed into the filling. Cold grilled lobster tails are dressed with Argentinian chimichurri sauce. Ceylon cinnamon and green cardamom spice up a rich, luscious custard.

Tiny cipollini onions and tomatoes combine with the Egyptian spice blend dukkah (ground hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, and black pepper) for a flavorful summer soup.

07 of 15

Fresh Take on Family Lunch

three women sitting at table passing deviled eggs
Victoria Pearson

Together, the elements deliver a lunch with fresh punch—and showpiece punch bowls. "There are so many interesting pieces from our past," Kimberly says. "It's fun to figure how they apply to the way people entertain now."

Kimberly serves za'atar-laced deviled eggs on two styles of platters for guests, including her sister, Krystal, and their mother, Myrna. Za'atar is a warm Mideastern spice blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac.

08 of 15

Menu and Shopping List

traditional menus with blue monogram on plate
Victoria Pearson

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman's parties pack a punch. Her menus aren't shy about bold global flavor either. This luncheon incorporates spice and herb blends that you might have spied on restaurant menus into favorite home-style recipes such as deviled eggs, tomato soup, and creamy custard. Recipes are by chef Mary Payne Moran.


  • Strawberry-Honey Punch with Star Anise
  • Za'atar-Laced Deviled Eggs
  • Tomato and Cipollini Onion Soup with Dukkah Spice Blend
  • Cold Grilled Lobster with Chimichurri Sauce
  • Farro and Arugula Salad with Spring Vegetables; Lemon Dressing
  • Ceylon Cinnamon and Green Cardamom Spiced Custard
  • Baharat-Infused Chocolate Bites
  • Spice Guide—a primer for the spices and blends used in these recipes

Shopping List

We've organized a shopping list to make shopping for this party menu easier for you. Package sizes are included so you have enough for duplicated recipe ingredients.

Check your pantry for these necessary items before shopping.

Note: Unless specified, when we call for "butter" we mean the unsalted variety. When we call for "olive oil" we are suggesting good-quality extra virgin. When we call for "eggs" we are suggesting large eggs. Unless specified, when we call for "milk" we mean whole-fat milk.

  • 18 large eggs
  • Milk (need 2-1/2 cups)
  • Good-quality mayonnaise (need 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon)
  • Dijon-style mustard (need 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Olive oil (need 1/2 cup + about 3 tablespoons total)
  • Salted butter (need 2 tablespoons)
  • White vinegar (need 4 teaspoons)
  • Red wine vinegar (need 2 tablespoons total)
  • Salt (need 1/4 teaspoon + to taste)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Crushed red pepper (need 1-1/2 teaspoons)
  • Sugar (need 1/2 cup)
  • Cornstarch (need 1/4 cup)
  • Rind from Parmesan cheese (see recipe note; 1 small piece) or 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic (enough for 3/4 teaspoon minced)
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Specialty grocery store or specialty spice store

  • Za'atar spice blend
  • Dukkah spice blend
  • Whole green cardamom pods
  • Ground Ceylon cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon sticks
  • Baharat spice blend


  • 2-1/2 pounds fresh strawberries
  • 32 ounces total fresh blackberries and raspberries
  • 3 medium oranges
  • 7 lemons
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cipollini onions
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 bunch fresh radishes
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh oregano
  • 1 (5-ounce) package fresh arugula


  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle sparkling water
  • 1 (32-ounce) bottle honey
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato purée
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 (24-ounce) package farro (may be found in organic aisle)

Baking aisle

  • Whole star anise (may need to purchase at a specialty grocery)
  • 1 (2-ounce) package slivered almonds
  • 5 (4-ounce) bars semisweet chocolate

Frozen food aisle

  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen peas (or 8 ounces fresh peas if available)


  • 8 (4- to 5-ounce each) fresh or frozen lobster tails (may need to preorder)


  • 1 baguette


  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle good-quality vodka
09 of 15

Strawberry-Honey Punch with Star Anise

strawberry-honey punch with star anise
Victoria Pearson

There's nothing shy about the vodka-based punch, which combines strawberry puree, honey, orange, and lemon with subtle licorice nuance from star anise pods. The whole pods are steeped in the punch base and used to garnish the punch bowl.

The "Gallia" blown-glass punch bowl by Rogaska through Replacements is cut with delicate floral detail. The "Burgundy" hollow-handle sterling ladle is vintage Reed & Barton through Replacements.

Prep: 30 minutes

Stand: 30 minutes

Chill: At least 4 hours

  • 4 cups water
  • 6 whole star anise
  • 2-1/2 pounds fresh strawberries
  • 2 cups honey
  • 3 medium oranges, juiced (1 cup)
  • 3 lemons, juiced (9 tablespoons)
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle vodka, chilled
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle sparkling water, chilled
  • Ice

In large saucepan, bring the 4 cups water to boiling. Remove from heat. Add star anise. Cover; let steep 30 minutes. Remove star anise from water using a slotted spoon. Reserve for garnish, if desired.

Meanwhile, wash and stem 2-1/2 pounds strawberries. Working in batches, blend or process strawberries in food processor or blender until smooth. Press mixture through fine-mesh sieve; discard seeds. You will need 4-1/2 cups strawberry purée for punch.

In 1-gallon pitcher, combine star anise-flavored water, strawberry purée, honey, orange juice, and lemon juice. Cover; chill at least 4 hours before serving (or up to 3 days).

To serve, pour strawberry mixture into punch bowl. Add vodka and sparkling water. Add reserved star anise to punch bowl, if desired. Serve over ice. Makes 24 servings.

10 of 15

Za'atar-Laced Deviled Eggs

woman holding bowl with za'atar-laced deviled eggs
Victoria Pearson

Za'atar is Middle Eastern blend of dried thyme, sesame, and sumac.

Hands On: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

  • 8 large eggs, hard-cooked*
  • 1/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons za'atar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

Halve hard-cooked eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks. Set whites aside. Place yolks in small bowl; beat with electric mixer or use fork to break up yolks. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon zest, za'atar, mustard, and salt. Beat filling until creamy and smooth. Season to taste with additional salt. Spoon filling into piping bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe yolk mixture into egg white halves. If desired, cover loosely; chill up to 8 hours.

To serve, sprinkle with pepper; garnish with chives and additional lemon zest. Makes 16 deviled eggs.

Tip Hard-Cooked Eggs: Add eight large eggs to large pot of cold water (make sure water covers eggs by 1 inch). Heat until large bubbles appear. Remove from heat. Cover and let eggs rest in the water 15 minutes. Remove eggs from the pot place in an ice bath. Peel and set aside.

11 of 15

Tomato and Cipollini Onion Soup with Dukkah Spice Blend

tomato and cipollini onion soup with dukkah spice blend
Victoria Pearson

Dukkah is from Egypt. It is a blend of ground hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, and peppercorns.

Hands On: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cipollini onions, peeled and cut up or 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato purée
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 small piece of rind from Parmesan cheese or 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese*
  • 8 baguette slices, cut on bias, toasted**
  • 1 tablespoon Dukkah spice blend***
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In 4- to 6-quart pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and shallot. Cook and stir until glossy and aromatic. Season with salt. Add tomato purée, tomatoes, the 1/2 cup water, basil, vinegar, and Parmesan rind. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool 20 minutes. Remove Parmesan rind.

Working in batches, transfer tomato mixture to blender. Cover; blend until smooth. Return blended soup to pot. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes to heat through.

Serve with toasted baguette slices. Garnish soup with Dukkah spice blend and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

*Reserve the rinds of wedges of Parmesan and other hard cheeses. (They can be placed in a small resealable bag and frozen.) Toss them into tomato- or broth-based soups and stews for extra body and nutty sweetness. Most of the rind will melt away with cooking.

**Tip: Cut 8 medium slices from baguette. In large skillet add 2 to 3 tablespoons salted butter. When butter is melted, add bread and lightly toast both sides. Serve with soup.

***Dukkah Blend To make your own dukkah spice blend, spread 1/3 cup hazelnuts in 10x15-inch baking pan. Bake in 350°F oven 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer warm nuts to tea towel, fold towel over to cover, and rub vigorously to remove skins; let cool. Meanwhile pulse 1 tablespoon each toasted coriander seeds and toasted cumin seeds in food processor until finely ground. Pour into bowl with 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds. Pulse cooled hazelnuts in food processor until finely ground; stir into bowl with seeds. Stir in 1 tablespoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt. Makes about 3/4 cup.

12 of 15

Cold Grilled Lobster with Chimichurri Sauce

cold grilled lobster with chimichurri sauce
Victoria Pearson

On Mottahedeh's "Blue Lace" platter, cold grilled lobster tails eschew traditional melted butter for a bright Argentinian chimichurri sauce of parsley, oregano, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and red wine vinegar. The sauce can be brushed on foods as they cook, spooned over when they rest, served on the side, or used as a marinade.

The tails are paired with a farro and arugula salad tossed with radishes, peas, and roasted red pepper.

Hands On: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 41 minutes (including chilling time)

Chimichurri Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt to taste

Grilled Lobster:

  • 8 fresh or frozen lobster tails (4 to 5 ounces each)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Salt to taste
  • Farro and Arugula Salad with Spring Vegetables; Lemon Dressing (recipe follows)

For Chimichurri Sauce, mix all ingredients together. Cover; chill 1 hour.

For Grilled Lobster, thaw lobster tails, if frozen. Rinse lobster tails; pat dry with paper towels. To butterfly tails, use kitchen shears or sharp heavy knife to cut lengthwise through centers of hard top shells and meat. Cut to, but not through, bottom shells. Using fingers, spread meat apart slightly and loosen meat from shells. Coat lobster tails with nonstick spray. Season with salt.

On rack of covered grill, grill lobster tails, cut sides down, directly over medium-high heat 4 minutes. Turn; brush with 1/3 cup Chimichurri Sauce. Grill 2 to 3 minutes more or until meat is opaque. Remove from grill; let cool 15 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour or until completely chilled.

To assemble, spoon Farro and Arugula Salad with Spring Vegetables and Lemon Dressing onto large serving platter. Top with grilled lobster tails. Brush additional Chimichurri Sauce on grilled lobster tails. Serve with extra Chimichurri Sauce. Makes 8 servings.

Farro and Arugula Salad with Spring Vegetables; Lemon Dressing

Farro is part of the whole grain family, such as barley, quinoa, and wheat berries. It is technically a wheat. The grains are oblong and larger than most grains. When cooked, it has a chewy texture similar to barley. In most stores, you'll find pearled farro in the bulk section. You also can find Bob's Red Mill organic farro in the organic section of your grocer or from Bob's Red Mill.

Hands On: 20 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Lemon Dressing:

  • 2 lemons, juiced (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Farro Salad:

  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 4 cups fresh arugula
  • 3 cups cooked farro*
  • 3/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
  • 5 radishes, sliced
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

For Lemon Dressing, in small bowl whisk together lemon juice, mayonnaise, and olive oil until combined; set aside.

For Farro Salad, bring small pot of salted water to boil. Add peas. Reduce heat. Simmer 2 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water to cool.

In very large bowl combine cooled peas, arugula, farro, roasted red peppers, radishes, almonds, and Lemon Dressing. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

*Tip: To cook farro, in medium saucepan combine 4-1/2 cups water and 1-1/2 cups pearled or semi-pearled farro. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 25 to 30 minutes or until farro is tender. Drain if necessary.

13 of 15

Ceylon Cinnamon and Green Cardamom Spiced Custard

ceylon cinnamon and green cardamom spiced custard
Victoria Pearson

In "Royal" crystal compotes by Moser, berries are enhanced with the creamy texture of a custard featuring the flavors of Ceylon cinnamon and green cardamom.

Ceylon cinnamon differs from other cinnamons because it is hand-harvested and rolled into thin, multilayer sticks, unlike more commercial varieties such as Saigon, Indonesian, and Chinese cinnamons. Ceylon cinnamon has a subtler aroma, crumbly texture, and sweeter taste.

Green cardamom pods can be crushed whole in a coffee grinder or ground with a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, the pods can be broken open and the seeds extracted and ground in the same manner. Green cardamom has a pungent aroma and a floral eucalyptus-like flavor. The color and flavor of cardamom pods depend on the drying time—green cardamom is dried for one day and one night over a heat source and has the most delicate flavor.

Hands On: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (including chilling time)

  • 1/2 teaspoon whole green cardamom pods
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries and raspberries

Split green cardamom pods; scrape out seeds. Grind seeds with mortar and pestle or spice grinder. You should have 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.

In large bowl combine ice and water. Place dry bowl on top; set aside.

In mixing bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and cardamom. With electric hand mixer on medium, beat yolk mixture until thick and lemon color (ribbon stage).

In large saucepan, heat milk over medium until bubbles form at edge. Gradually whisk milk into yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Cook, stirring over medium-low heat continuously to prevent burning on bottom, 2 to 4 minutes or until custard coats back of metal spoon (160°F). Pour into bowl over ice bath and whisk 8 to 12 minutes or until cooled. Cover; chill at least 2 hours until ready to serve. Spoon over fresh berries. Makes 8 servings.

14 of 15

Baharat-Infused Chocolate Bites

baharat-infused chocolate bites in blue dish
Victoria Pearson

Elegant two-ingredient chocolates get a little zing from baharat, an East Mediterranean blend of allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Hands On: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes (including cooling time)

  • 20 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 3/4 teaspoon baharat plus extra for garnish

Chop semisweet chocolate. Place 3/4 of chopped chocolate in top pan of double boiler over hot, not boiling, water (you may also use a glass or metal mixing bowl on top of saucepan half full of water, being sure water does not touch bottom of bowl). Allow chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat. Add small amount of remaining chocolate, stirring after each addition, until all chocolate is melted. Return bowl to saucepan to heat briefly if chocolate is not melting completely. Once all chocolate has melted, stir in baharat.

Spoon chocolate into 1-inch-diameter candy molds. Spread chocolate and remove the air bubbles by lightly tapping molds on a hard surface. Let cool 2 hours or until chocolate is firm. Remove chocolate from molds. Trim off excess chocolate around the edges as needed. Sprinkle with additional baharat, if desired. Makes 8 servings (about 8 pieces each).

Tip: To temper chocolate in microwave: Place 16 ounces of the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cook on 100% power (high) 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and the temperature is 113°. Measure the temperature of the mixture with an instant-read thermometer. If necessary, continue to cook in 5- to 10-second increments until the correct temperature is reached. Stir in remaining chocolate. Stir vigorously for 2 minutes or until completely smooth. If small pieces of chocolate remain, cook in 5-second increments, stirring after each, until smooth.

15 of 15

Simple Spice Guide

green cardamom pods, dukkah, cinnamon and star anise spices
Victoria Pearson

A pinch of this, a pinch of that—in our national culinary melting pot, there's lots of room for innovation. These global spices and herb blends go beyond their areas of origin. If you've ever wondered what gives zing to Middle Eastern cuisine or what gives Swedish Christmas cookies their distinctive taste, try spicing up your favorite American classics. A good piece of advice: Season with a pinch, adding more until you find a spice level that pleases you.

Here's a guide to the spice blends used in our collection of recipes (clockwise from top left).

Green cardamom pods Cardamom is native to India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nepal. Today, Guatemala is the biggest producer of the triangular pod and its seeds. It is the world's third most expensive spice, after vanilla and saffron. Through the Renaissance trade routes, cardamom became a treasured commodity from Scandinavia to South Africa.

Cardomom has a flowery, pungent aroma, and a eucalyptus-like flavor. It lends itself equally to sweet and savory combinations. Incorporate it into shortbread cookies, puddings, and cakes, or try it as a spice rub for steaks or chicken.

Dukkah spice blend Dukkah is an Egyptian blend of ground hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, peppercorns, and very often, mint. The word dukkah is a derivative of the Egyptian word meaning "to pound"; therefore, the mixture is rarely powdered or paste-like but more like ground oats.

Try dukkah sprinkled on roasted vegetables or on toasted bread drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle it over pizza, pasta, or grilled chicken.

Za'atar, a Middle Eastern favorite spice mixture, is like a garden blend: dried thyme, basil, oregano, and sumac mixed with sesame and salt. Along with ancient culinary associations, it was considered a medicinal aid.

Use za'atar to season ground meats such as beef and lamb meatballs, as a rub for grilled items, or combined with plain yogurt and olive oil to use as a dip. It can also be stirred into hummus.

Baharat The warm spices in baharat—a combination that can include coriander, cumin, allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cloves, paprika, and nutmeg—make this Greek/Middle Eastern spice blend particularly suitable for jazzing up desserts.

It's a good match for adding some heat to chocolate, as we did in this chocolate bites recipe, but you can also stir some into brownies or chocolate cake or recipes that include coffee or espresso. Spoon it into softened vanilla bean ice cream or cook it into the syrup for a red-wine-based sorbet. On the savory side, grilled meats, particularly steaks, benefit from a rub of baharat.

Ceylon cinnamon Use Ceylon cinnamon for any recipe in which you would use less expensive varietals such as Indonesian or Malaysian, which are "cousins" to true cinnamon called cassia. You'll get a much subtler flavor from this hand-harvested and handcrafted cinnamon without the burn cinnamon often has. As with anything, a subtle touch requires a light hand, so start with a lesser amount and add more as you go.

Ground Ceylon cinnamon can lose flavor quickly. For best results, purchase Ceylon cinnamon sticks. The hand-rolled rods are fragile and crumble easily, so use a spice grinder and grind only what you need.

Star anise (center) Because of its festive star shape, star anise pods are popular garnishes during the holiday season. But don't let this licorice-laced seed pod languish in the spice cabinet the rest of the year. For the freshest ground star anise, grind whole pods in a spice grinder and grind only what you need.

Steep star anise pods in tea, or reduce it into a simple syrup for cocktails. Cook it into mild barbecue sauces for grilled pork or fish.

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