Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Friday, December 14, 2012
By Linzi Gay
Inspired by ancient Middle Eastern recipes, dukkah (pronounced DOO-kah) is a unique blend of ground nuts, sesame seeds and spices. I had the good fortune of learning about dukkah when I was traveling to Australia and New Zealand for work. Before dinner, many restaurants would serve a “house” dukkah with fresh bread and olive oil. With my first taste of dukkah, I was instantly hooked. I bought dozens of containers to bring home to family and friends and vowed to find dukkah when I got back to the States. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t that widely available and when I asked most people about it, I would receive a blank stare and a “huh?”.
When we opened Velo Vino, our Napa Valley tasting room, I was determined to develop a dukkah that would make a great pairing with our wines. Gary and Kit liked the idea and we worked with our Master Chef, Anna Callaway, to come up with several blends using both hazelnuts (the classic nut used in dukkah blends) and pistachios. After quite a bit of tasting (hard job!) and working to develop the perfect blends, we came up with three delicious flavors.
Dukkah is the perfect appetizer. All you need is a pack of dukkah, a loaf of fresh bread and high quality extra virgin olive oil. You dip the bread in the olive oil first, followed by the dukkah and pop it in your mouth. The vibrant flavors of the spices and the crunchy texture of the nuts make for a really unique and exciting flavor experience.
In addition to being an easy appetizer, you can add dukkah to almost anything. Dukkah is a really versatile ingredient for spicing up and flavoring many different dishes. You can add it to salads, sprinkle on soups, toss with pasta or season grilled meats and roasted veggies. The possibilities are really endless.
If you haven’t had a chance to try dukkah yet, you are missing out. Give it a try and I’m pretty sure you will be just as excited to spread the word!
Want to learn more about dukkah? Follow me on Twitter @dukkahgal.