The festive season is all about people coming together, sharing great food, belly laughs, appreciation, sun (well at least down here in the Southern Hemisphere), celebrating life, family and relationships, giving and gratitude.
I have always loved giving people really thoughtful gifts and sometimes that equates to more expensive gifts (like taking Corey skydiving for his birthday last year) but sometimes not. I think a great gift is when there is thought and love behind it.
I have a few ideas here for you for festive gifts with heart. They don’t take too much effort but they are full of love and thats whats its all about right?
If you haven’t tried dukka (Arabic for “to pound”) before its pretty spectacular. It’s a spicy, nutty mix that is traditionally eaten as a dip by dunking torn bread in olive oil then into the dukka, but it can also be used sprinkled over salads, as a dry marinade or you can even coat a roast chicken in it for extra crunch and flavor. My favorite is to mix over roast veggies like butternut.
- 120g raw hazelnuts
- 80g raw pistachios (deshelled)
- 3T white sesame seeds
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 2T ground cumin
- 1tsp sea salt flakes
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- optional: ½ tsp cayenne pepper for a more fiery flavor
- Heat the oven to 180C
- Place the nuts in a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 8 minutes
- Heat a pan on the stove over medium to high heat
- Dry roast all the spices together to release the flavors but taking care not to burn them
- When the nuts have roasted add them to the pan as well give the pan a good shake. Add the slat and pepper. Allow to cool off the heat.
- Place the mixture in a food processor and pulse until the nuts become chunky crumbles. ( You can use a pestle and mortar as well to crush the nuts)
- Add the sesame seeds and mix well.
- Pour into little jars and seal. You can tie some raffia or string around the top or stick a pretty label on to give as a gift.
- Serve with fresh bread and olive oil.