At this time of year, we’ve enjoyed countless dinners of zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. We’ve had more variations of salad than I can list. It’s the time of year when I’m often in search of a new flavor or ingredient to spice up these still plentiful garden-harvested meals.
My answer this year? Dukkah. This mediterranean nut and spice blend is full of flavor, adds richness and depth to simple veggie dishes, and is wonderful if made fresh. If kept in the fridge, the delicious freshly toasted spicy flavor will stay strong for several months.
I followed a recipe from the Spice cookbook – highly recommended to anyone who is interested in gaining familiarity with delicious Mediterranean flavor combinations. Dukkah, however, can be a very flexible recipe. If you don’t have each of the following nuts, seeds, and spices in your pantry, feel free to substitute or omit freely. I do think that the sour of the sumac, one of the ingredients that may be harder to find, enhances the final product nicely. If you don’t use sumac, consider sprinkling lemon juice on your dish before topping it with dukkah.
- Toast on a dry hot skillet: 1/3 cup raw pistachios, 1/3 cup raw almonds and 1/3 cup raw hazelnuts. Once toasted, pour into a bowl and allow to cool.
- Toast on a dry hot skillet: 3/4 cup sesame seeds, 1/4 cup coriander seeds, 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds. Once toasted, pour into a bowl and allow to cool.
- Once cool, blend all ingredients. I blended in batches, with the large nuts first and the smaller seeds and spices second. This allowed me to get a consistently sized final product. Blend until bits are small, but take care not to blend so much that it starts to turn into a nut butter paste.
- Pulse into final mixture: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon ground sumac.
- Sprinkle over vegetables or meat, or serve with fresh bread and olive oil for dipping.
I love eating dukkah on top of grilled summer veggies (on zucchini above), sprinkled on top of my salads, mixed with feta, olive oil, and lemon juice into blanched kale, or used as a flavorful garnish on grilled or roasted meats. What a delicious way to enjoy the bounty of summer and fall harvests.