Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *
A trio of WHAT??? That would have been my response to this post just a few months ago.
Let’s start with the answer to WHAT???? Dukkah is a nut and spice mix that is found in markets all over Egypt. Traditionally it’s served with bread (not our strong point at this blog) and olive oil. I discovered it at Trader Joe’s. Just after you enter the store they have a tasting station where unsuspecting customers are seduced into buying products that were not on their shopping lists.
Most of the time I have to pass up the tasting station because there is cheese or other dairy products in the samples, but on this fateful day they had dukkah (and I was still eating bread at the time). I dipped the bread in the olive oil and then in the dukkah and tasted it. Hmmm….I’m not sure how I feel about it. Theirs was very anise-y and I’m on the fence about licorice flavored things – but, I buy it anyway.
I get home and have an intense need to try it again and BOOM – love at second bite! Suddenly I’m sprinkling it on everything from scrambled eggs, to tuna or potato salad, to smoked salmon, to hummos, to garnishing soups, seasoning chicken, fish, meats and/or kebabs, dipping bananas and Tofutti Cuties (soy ice cream sandwiches) into it. Everything tastes better with dukkah on (or in) it.
Now not being someone who leaves well enough alone, I had to learn more about it. I checked out wikipedia (the spelling and pronunciation of dukkah are a whole other post’s worth of stories), and article in The New York Times, and chocolateandzucchini.com.
Then I got to work in the kitchen and came up with some excellent (if I must say so myself) recipes. The variations are totally not traditional and none of them have anise.
Of course there are many ways to present this as a gift here are just a few ideas.
* Buy a really nice spice jar or just a regular ball jar and make a cover for it (not a hard job even if you are not too crafty). This is a good not-too-expensive gift to give when you have lots of people on your list who you can give the same gift to. For me, it’s my soup kitchen team.
Decorated using contact paper
decorated using fabric and ribbon
decorated using wrapping paper
* Put a jar (or 3) of Dukkah or jars of Dukkah ingredients and give them – along with the recipe AND an immersion blender with mini processor attachment
* Make a Dukkah Basket with dukkah you’ve prepared and a bottle of really nice olive oil or balsamic vinegar and fresh bread if you are giving the gift the same day as you pack it.