dukkah spiced yogurt dip

dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com

I recently contributed this dukkah recipe to Food 52’s Small Batch series. When they first suggested it, I had to look up how to (authentically) make it. It turns out — there’s no one way. The word dukkah literally means “to pound” and it generally consists of hazelnuts, sesame seeds and a few whole dried spices. To me, this was the perfect opportunity to use up the nuts and spices I had just cleaned out of my pantry shelves. (Specifically, the ones that didn’t fit when I transferred them from little bags to little jars).

dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com

Along with the hazelnuts I had been hoarding, I toasted and crushed: pistachios, sesame seeds, coriander, dried orange peel and dried cilantro, and dried peppercorns. (Feel free to change up this combination using ingredients you happen to have).

dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com dukkah spiced yogurt dip / loveandlemons.com

It’s a great little spice mix to keep on hand (it’ll keep for awhile!). I sprinkled it over greek yogurt and served it with pita chips. It’s a super delicious snack, not to mention a great make-ahead throw-together appetizer.

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romanesco & chickpea salad

romanesco and chickpea salad / loveandlemons.com romanesco and chickpea salad / loveandlemons.com

Two things happened on Monday: It was Jack’s birthday and also we won the Saveur Reader’s Choice Best Cooking Blog award! Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of you who voted for us! As someone who’s not used to winning things, I really didn’t see this coming. I’m shocked and just so flattered.

I realize — I probably should be posting cocktails and cake, but it’s been a heck of a busy week, so today I bring you: Celebration Salad. (Although, stay tuned, I have some yummy birthday carrot cake coming up next week).

But for now, this salad. (Which I think is worth celebrating). It’s fresh, springy, and would be so perfect for easter. I had some gorgeous romanesco, but you could sub cauliflower just as easily. I blanched the romanesco just a bit and tossed it with a lemony dijon dressing along with chickpeas, avocado, eggs, capers and smoked salmon.

Happy Easter!

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spring onion fritatta

spring onion fritatta / loveandlemons.com spring onion fritatta / loveandlemons.com

Easter weekend might be a whole week away, but I figure it’s never too soon to start spring brunching with friends. We could call it Friendster—get it? Like “Friendsgiving” but for spring… (and not like the late 90’s social media website). Ok, maybe not. I can hear you groaning through the computer screen.

Hipster holidays aside, I have to talk about this fritatta. I’ve been making fritattas for years but I’d say they were just average (it’s pretty hard to mess them up). This time I’ve gotten it really right and I have a couple of good tips to share.

spring onion fritatta / loveandlemons.com

First thing: blend your eggs in a blender. I’m sure many of you do this already. I, myself, have been lazily ignoring this tip for years thinking my whisking arm strength was enough. But aerating them in the blender is really the trick to a lighter, fluffier fritatta.

Number two: add your fillings in two stages so they don’t all sink to the bottom. I learned this one by accident. (At first, I did this purely as a food styling trick). It not only made my fritatta look prettier, it created a better texture since the veggies were more evenly distributed.

spring onion fritatta / loveandlemons.com

So that’s it – easy and eggy. Happy weekend!

Go to the recipe “spring onion fritatta”…

spring root & watercress salad

spring root & watercress salad / loveandlemons.com

Since starting this blog, I’ve gotten over a number of foods I didn’t think I liked: radishes, carrots, and I’ve recently come around to pepper. (I know, pepper is a weird one).

I have a list going for Jack too: peas, asparagus, avocado. Check, check, check. And now the latest: beets! (Yes, Jack, I lied. These things I told you were turnips are in fact beets).

My husband is not a picky eater by any means —there are about five foods he’s adamant about not eating. I just find it a fun game to work these things in. The only thing left on the list is grapefruit, and I’ll save that for another day.

spring root & watercress salad / loveandlemons.com

So how do you trick someone into eating beets? Like everything else, you have to prepare the beets a different way. For texture and sweetness, I roasted just a few and hid those underneath. I thinly shaved the rest, marinated them in a lemony dressing, and kept them raw. Their crunch works nicely with the chewy wheat berries, (and also they don’t taste as beet-like). I also added some crumbly ricotta salata, (not pictured), which is optional but recommended.

As Jack was devouring his plate, he said “I think this is my favorite salad you’ve made.” I kept my little secret to myself, but the cat’s out of the bag now.

spring root & watercress salad / loveandlemons.com

Oh hey – today’s the last day to vote in Saveur’s Best Food Blog awards. We’re up for best cooking blog, if you have a moment – go vote! (and if you have already, thank you!)

Go to the recipe “spring root & watercress salad”…

hazelnut tahini pasta

hazelnut tahini pasta with brussels sprouts / loveandlemons.com hazelnut tahini pasta with brussels sprouts / loveandlemons.com

I keep a pretty full pantry (to say the least). I love to have a variety of oils, vinegars, grains & nuts on hand… but every now and then “on hand” becomes completely out of hand. This little sauce came about one day when I was cleaning out my shelves and found five separate stashes of hazelnuts. Some were newly purchased, some were tucked waaay in the back. Also, back beyond my immediate reach was a still-pretty-new-yet-forgotten-about jar of tahini.

hazelnut tahini pasta with brussels sprouts / loveandlemons.com

I had pasta noodles to use up, but this would be great as a dressing drizzled over a farro salad, or over greens with roasted sweet potatoes.

It doesn’t puree as smooth as cashew-based sauces (and it’s definitely not pretty). It’s a bit on the grainy side, but has that nice tahini tang and also a bit of sweetness from the hazelnuts.

You may have noticed already, but this recipe was posted as a little L&L feature over at the The Chalkboard last week. 

Go to the recipe “hazelnut tahini pasta”…