After the tahini discovery, I was on the prowl for anything that might be suitable to serve with a heaping dollop of hummus. So it should be no surprise that when I started perusing Devon’s pretty site, Deli-Cute-Essen for July’s Secret Recipe Club, I kept coming back to her recent post on Dukkah. (However, her gorgeous pickled beet and grapefruit salad is enough inspiration on its own for me to put together a dinner party and serve this as the first course.)
Dukkah is an Egyptian spice that I have long been curious about, but have somehow never set out to make. To call it a “spice” is a bit misleading, as it sounds more limiting than dukkah actually is. The base of the dukkah is nuts (most often hazelnuts, but pistachios, cashews, or pinenuts also work) and spices, but its flavor is really defined by the smokiness imparted from toasting each element.
For the moment, we’ve primarily consumed this dukkah in its purest form – served with bread and olive oil (and hummus).
You pull off a piece of bread, dip it in olive oil, then in dukkah and eat it. Divine.
We did use a little for dipping pizza crust over the weekend.
But, with this dukkah tucked away in my organized little spice drawer, the possibilities are endless. Sprinkle it over roast vegetables, toss it with couscous or rice, or sprinkle it over ground chicken for a variation on this addictive Turkish pizza.
- ⅔ cups hazelnuts (can also use pistachios, cashews, or pinenuts, or any combination of those)
- ½ cup white sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For Serving:
- fresh bread or pita
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Toast hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until browned and fragrant. If the hazelnuts still have skins, rub them gently in a dishtowl to remove most of the skins. Use a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder) to pound the nuts into a coarse powder. Pour the ground nuts into a small bowl.
- Add the sesame seeds to the dry skillet and toast over medium heat until golden. Add to the ground nuts.
- Add the coriander, cumin, fennel, and thyme to the dry skillet and again toast over medium heat until fragrant. Use a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder) to pound the spices into an even, coarse powder. Pour into the bowl with the sesame seeds and hazelnuts. Add salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Serve with a bowl of olive oil and bread for dipping.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (this will help retain the flavor) for several weeks.