I remembered it wrong when I said that our meal at Casa Vallejo’s Hill Station started with a salad. It didn’t. There was a complimentary starter that consisted of bread cubes, olive oil and dukkah. It’s a very popular Egyptian hors d’oeuvre and it is delicious — nutty and spicy in various levels and dimensions.
What is dukkah? Also spelled dakka and duqqa, dukkah is a mixture of nuts, herbs and spices that are toasted then ground. There is no singular formula as to what the nuts, herbs and spices should be although hazelnuts and coriander seeds seem to pop up in most of the recipes online. But you can mix and match whatever you wish, in whatever proportion, and come up with your own dukkah.
One of these days, I’ll make my own dukkah.
Right now, I’m very happy with the jar of dukkah that I bought at Hill Station.
Some dukkah recipes I’ve found that come with pretty good instructions and tips: