The first time I ever encountered dukkah was while traveling in the Mediterranean when a little bowl of the crunchy, spicy, seedy mix was dropped on the table at a restaurant with olive oil and bread for dipping. Dunk the bread in the olive oil, then the dukkah and crunch away. The nuts, seeds and spices added a bazillion flavor explosions to what would have been a pretty ordinary dish — and served as a digestive aid for the spicy foods to come.
It wasn’t until months later when I was searching for a way to amp up a soup that I grabbed the little remnants of some crushed toasted nuts, found some spices and started to see the resemblance … all of a sudden, I uncovered a million-and-one ways to amp up salads, soups, sandwiches, yogurt.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH DUKKAH?
In case you need more convincing, here are a few more ways to use this sweet/savory shakeable:
- Fold it into hummus, dips or yogurt.
- Sprinkle it on flatbread with olive oil and bake until crispy.
- Dunk with bread and olive oil or fresh vegetables for a flavor-packed twist.
- Scatter it on top of fried eggs.
- Shake onto fish dishes with fresh herbs for a satisfying extra dimension.
- Stir into whole grains or pasta for a flavor-packed crunch.
- Toss with your favorite roasting vegetables and olive oil and roast until crispy and fragrant.
- Sprinkle on salads or over soups.
- Whisk into a jar of homemade salad dressing for a little zip.
HOW DO YOU MAKE DUKKAH?
- 1/2 cup toasted nuts (such as hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts or a combination)
- 2 tablespoons spices (such as coriander, cumin or fennel, rose petals, dried flowers or ground spices)
- 4 tablespoons toasted seeds (such as hemp, white or black sesame)
- Sea salt
- Ground pepper
Pulse toasted nuts, spices, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in a food processor until coarse; mixture should be dry and crumbly. Add toasted seeds and pulse 1–2 more times, just to combine. Then, taste and season with an additional pinch of salt if necessary. (You could also use a mortar and pestle to blend the mix, as they would in the Middle East.)
The recipe makes approximately 1 cup and keeps for a month in an airtight container.
Servings: 32 | Serving size: 1/2 tablespoon
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 19; Total Fat: 2g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1mg; Carbohydrate: 1g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 1g
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
Substitute the nuts, seeds and spices below for some creative twists to amp up everything you’re cooking. If you are running low on any of the components (seeds, nuts, spices), you can still make a crunchy topping by adding more of an ingredient you do have on hand.
- Sweet Dukkah: almonds, hazelnuts, hemp seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle on toast, oatmeal bowls, ice cream and yogurt.
- Savory Dukkah: hazelnuts, walnuts, coriander seeds, white sesame seeds, a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sprinkle on salads, vegetables, with bread and olive oil or fried eggs.
- Exotic Dukkah: pistachios, hemp seeds, white sesame seeds, rose petals and cinnamon. Sprinkle on salads, vegetables, over yogurt or into hummus.
- All-Around-Excellent Dukkah: almonds, pine nuts, coriander seeds, cumin seeds. Sprinkle over soups, salads, toasts, eggs.
- Breakfast Dukkah: white sesame seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, pine nuts, slivered almonds, dried chamomile flowers and sea salt. Sprinkle on yogurt, ice cream, over creamy soups.
- Black and White Dukkah: black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, pine nuts, almonds and walnuts. Sprinkle over noodle bowls, creamy soups, tahini and fried eggs with avocado.