Dukkah (pronounced dook-ah) has Middle Eastern origins but is a very popular seasoning in Australia. It is also good on fish, raw vegetables, and pita bread toasted with olive oil.
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts or almonds
- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
- 1 tablespoon whole dried coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon dried orange or lemon peel
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Extra virgin olive oil
In a small, dry skillet over low heat, briefly toast the nuts, shaking the pan often, until fragrant. Add the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds, sesame seeds, peppercorns, and orange peel. Toast for one minute more, then remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in about 1 teaspoon of salt.
Let the mixture cool. Crush it using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. (Avoid overprocessing to a paste-like texture.) Mix the yogurt with salt and lemon juice to taste. Transfer to a shallow serving bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dukkah on top and drizzle generously with olive oil. Store any remaining dukkah in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from loveandlemons.com
Annie Paterson, the multitalented proprietress of Nullamunjie Olive Oil in Australia, generously shared one of her signature recipes when we got together. The hazelnuts provide another punch of healthy fats. Serve slices with fresh berries and, for a touch of indulgence, vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
- 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons top-quality cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup finely ground hazelnut meal
- 4 large eggs, separated
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper on the bottom and a long strip around the inside walls. If making your own hazelnut meal, pulse 2/3 cup toasted whole nuts in a food processor to a mealy consistency, about 12 pulses—don’t go too far or you could end up with a paste. Measure out 1 cup (reserve any excess to sprinkle on cereal or yogurt).
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water, and whisk until smooth. Melt the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler, stirring constantly. Add the melted chocolate to the cocoa-hot water mixture along with the olive oil, brown sugar, and hazelnut meal. Stir until thoroughly combined, and then whisk in the yolks, one at a time; set aside.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold half the whites into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. When well combined, fold in the remaining egg whites, and then scrape the mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean—some moist chocolate may remain as the cake should be fudgy, like a brownie. Let the cake cool completely in the pan, then remove it and carefully peel off the parchment.
Serves 8 — Recipe courtesy of the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club
The following is adapted from an article on Newsmax by Karen Ridder, June 3, 2015.
Olive oil can be an important part of a healthy diet. The benefi ts of the good fats in olive oil extend from heart health to pre- and postnatal development. Here are 10 olive oil health benefi ts to consider:
1. It can lower your risk of heart disease: Mayo Clinic doctors advise that the monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in olive oil can help keep heart disease at bay by lowering your overall cholesterol.
2. Reduces the risk of blood clots: The MUFAs in olive oil have been shown to lower blood vessel inflammation and other factors that can lead to blood clots.
3. Helps keep your blood sugar under control: The International Olive Council claims a diet high in olive oil can actually prevent the kind of blood sugar problems that can cause diabetes. Olive oil can also be an important part of a good diet for the treatment of diabetes.
4. May protect thinking abilities: A May 2015 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that older people who ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil experienced better brain power compared to participants on a low-fat diet. Participants in the study were given about 1 liter of olive oil a week.
5. Lowers blood pressure: A 2000 report published in JAMA showed that high consumption of olive oil can reduce a patient’s need for blood pressure medication.
6. Reduces inflammation: The MUFAs in olive oil can help reduce the inflammation associated with autoimmune conditions.
7. Helps relieve rheumatoid arthritis pain: The anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil can alleviate the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and may reduce the risk of developing the disease.
8. Provides for better breast milk: Olive oil in the diet helps a mother maintain high levels of vitamin E in breast milk. Olive Oil Times reports that breast milk and olive oil have similar fat contents and linoleic acid needed for good brain and nerve development.
9. Could protect against heavy metal poisoning: A 2015 study in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology showed that olive oil had the potential to keep human cells from accumulating mercury.
10. Can make your hair beautiful: MD Health reports that treating hair with olive oil can make it soft and shiny as well as help prevent hair loss. Olive oil is also a home remedy for lice and dandruff.