A board with sliced homemade bread aside homemade nut-free dukkah.

On my first night in California with a group visiting California Olive Ranch, we ate dinner at Matchbook Wines. The caterer, Chef Jeff Anderson, had hauled along his wood-burning oven, which he used throughout the evening, but most memorably for the appetizer: blistered and bubbly flatbreads, which he served with olive oil and a nut-free dukkah.

Fresh bread, good olive oil, a smoky, seedy condiment—this appetizer reminded me how a simple flourish can make such an impression—it can be, in fact, all everyone needs to kick off an evening; it can be everything everyone dreams about for days.

This past week, I made a large-ish batch of dukkah to bring to CT for Christmas. I used the aforementioned no-nut dukkah as a guide, which included sesame seeds, coriander, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes and salt.

Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend that typically contains nuts, and it can be made in countless ways. This variation is nut free.

How to Make Nut-Free Dukkah

  1. Toast cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds.
  2. Crush them coarsely with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
  3. Season with salt, red pepper flakes and a pinch of sugar.
  4. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for weeks.

Serve dukkah with good fresh bread and olive oil or use it in various other ways: to crust fish or tofu, to season eggs, to add texture (especially if you use nuts) to roasted vegetables or grain salads.

I love mashing avocado over olive oil-toasted bread, mashing an avocado over top, and sprinkling it with a healthy pinch of dukkah.

One more thought: If you want to make a lot of dukkah, head to your favorite bulk-food market to purchase the spices. If you live in the area, Honest Weight Food Co-op is a great resource for bulk spices.

PS: The peasant bread was one of Food52’s top recipes of the 2017!

PPS: Read more about California Olive Ranch’s 2017 olive harvest here.

Ingredients to make nut-free dukkah.

Kitchen is under renovation, hence camping stove. Updated kitchen snap below!
A skillet with cumin and coriander seeds on a portable burner.

A mortar and pestle with cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds.
A bowl of nut-free dukkah.
A board of sliced homemade peasant bread.
A board of sliced peasant bread dipped in olive oil and dukkah.
A board with sliced bread dipped in olive oil and dukkah.
A bottle of California Olive Ranch olive oil aside a jar of homemade dukkah.

Cucumber Toasts with The Only Green Sauce You Need + Dukkah:

Cucumber toast with green sauce and dukkah.

Another option: Cucumber Toasts with Labneh & Dukkah

Cucumber toast with labneh and dukkah.
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bread with dukkah

Smoky, Seedy Nut-Free Dukkah

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Use this recipe as a guide — there are countless ways to make dukkah, and this one, which is nutless, is untraditional. To add nuts, simply toast nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios) as you would the seeds and coarsely crush or chop them.

Serve with good olive oil and good bread.


  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch red pepper flakes


In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until they begin to lightly brown and begin to pop. Transfer them to a medium bowl. Add the coriander and cumin seeds to the skillet and toast in the same fashion—until they begin to brown and turn fragrant. Transfer the cumin and coriander seeds to a separate bowl. In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, coarsely grind the cumin and coriander seeds — you may have to do this in batches. Transfer the crushed seeds to the bowl with the sesame seeds. Add the salt, sugar, and pepper flakes. Toss to combine. Taste. Adjust taste as desired.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

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