This fresh, sweet salad is the perfect vehicle for my favourite crunchy condiment, dukka. Dukka is an Egyptian dip/sprinkle made with toasted nuts, sesame seeds and spices. It is absolutely stunning – earthy, nutty, warmly spiced with the most intoxicating fragrance. Use it the traditional way as a dry dip (dunk bread in olive oil then into the dukka and devour) or as a crunchy topping for endless salads, soups, stews… you’ll find any excuse to use it once you have a jar in your pantry. Beetroots are in season now and perhaps eating them raw is the most delicious way? Let me know your favourite beetroot recipes in the comments.
For the dukka:
- 250g mixed nuts (or use just the traditional hazelnuts)
- 4 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- optional tsp of salt
For the salad:
- 3 carrots, julienned
- 3 beetroot, julienned
- a large handful of chopped parsley
- the juice of half a lemon
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- a very small clove of garlic, crushed or finely grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- To make the dukka, toast the nuts in a dry, hot frying pan until they start to take on some colour. Stir often whilst toasting to avoid burning any. Allow the nuts to cool a little before tipping them into a food processor. Pulse to roughly chop the nuts before adding the other smaller ingredients.
- Toast the sesame seeds, fennel, coriander and cumin in the dry, hot frying pan next. They will start to pop and smell incredible. Tip them in with the nuts and pulse the processor again until you have a fairly uniform, crumbly mixture. Careful not to over-process, you want crunch and texture, not powder. You can add salt at this stage if you like too.
- Allow the dukka to completely cool before storing in a clean jar. Use within one month for optimum freshness and flavour.
- To make the salad, add the julienned carrots and beetroot to a salad bowl along with the chopped parsley. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and seasoning and pour over the salad. Toss well and just before serving, sprinkle over the dukka. We ate it alongside a parsnip pilaf (next recipe) and some natural yoghurt.