TasteFood by Lynda Balslev

Hummus Gets a Makeover With Harissa and Dukkah

Hummus is my go-to appetizer. And while traditional chickpea hummus is always a favorite, it's fun to riff on this popular Middle Eastern dip with additional ingredients. For instance, vibrant beet hummus and roasted carrot hummus are flavorful and colorful additions to any menu and highly decorative on a party table.

This red pepper hummus is my latest rendition, which is smoky, sweet and fragrant with spice. Using the faithful chickpea as a base, I added roasted red peppers and fiery harissa paste to the mix as a spicy dip for vegetables and bread.

It’s garnished with dukkah, which is an essential Middle Eastern condiment made from ground nuts, sesame seeds and whole spices. It may appear underwhelming, but I assure you it is not. Dukkah is crunchy and aromatic, and adds extra texture and flavor to an assortment of dishes. It can simply be sprinkled over bread dipped in olive oil, or swirled into dips and spreads, scattered over salads, or used as a coating for meat and fish. And the good news is that it stores exceptionally well. You can make a batch of this versatile mix and keep it in the refrigerator for up to six months for handy sprinkling.

Smoky Red Pepper Hummus With Dukkah

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups hummus and 3/4 cup dukkah (both recipes may easily be doubled)

Hummus:

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained

1 large roasted red bell pepper, drained well if using a jarred pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 to 2 teaspoons harissa paste (or Sriracha)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Dukkah:

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1/4 cup raw almonds

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon sea salt

Make the hummus:

Combine all of the hummus ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. If too thick, add additional olive oil or warm water to your desired consistency.

Make the dukkah:

Toast the hazelnuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant and colored. Remove and pour onto a clean kitchen towel. Cover with the towel and rub to remove the skins. Cool the hazelnuts.

Separately, toast the almonds until golden brown, and toast the sesame seeds until light golden.

Add the cumin, coriander, peppercorns and fennel seeds to a clean skillet and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Combine the nuts and seeds in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the salt and taste for seasoning. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Serve the hummus garnished with dukkah and chopped fresh mint and/or cilantro.

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