Recipe: penja seasoning blend

White pepper gets reimagined in this simple spice mix.

One of the compounds found in white pepper is piperine, which studieshave shown helps increase nutrient absorption. Chef and spice expert Lior Lev Sercarz builds on the traditional seasoning in this blend, which adds warm, peppery notes to everything from fish to brown rice. "Season diver scallops with this blend and then sear them in a pan with salted butter and garlic," suggests Sercarz.

Makes about 3½ tablespoons

1½ tablespoons white peppercorns, coarsely ground
1½ tablespoons crushed dried marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon ground licorice

Place ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

Also in this series: Sal Seasoning Blend and Paico Seasoning Blend

Reprinted from The Spice Companion. Copyright © 2016 by Lior Lev Sercarz. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Thomas Schauer. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Nadine Bernard Westcott. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.