Spring is officially here, and restaurant chefs often embrace the new season by showcasing their early favorites—asparagus, spring onions and pea shoots.
One of San Anselmo’s celebrated chefs, Heidi Krahling—owner of Insalata’s and Marinitas, and winner of this year’s Best Chef honor in our annual Best of Marin readers’ poll—likes to use the Egyptian spice blend dukkah on roasted spring vegetables. Dukkah is traditionally eaten by dipping bread first in olive oil and then into the mix of nuts and spices. Krahling suggests trying it this way, or tossing it with asparagus or haricots verts. She also recommends experimenting with different nuts, such as almonds or peanuts, to find your own personal favorite combination. In every case, Krahling notes, it’s important to properly toast the nuts and seeds to maximize their flavor and coax out their natural oils.
This heady blend of spices is sure to add depth, flavor and crunch to favorite dishes. And of course, salads packed with spring greens will get a nice kick of flavor from a hearty sprinkling of dukkah. Happy spring!
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
½ cup sesame seeds, toasted
¼ cup coriander seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
3 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, salt and pepper; mix well. Store in an airtight container for up to one month.