I am in love with all the different ways that one can use vegetables in our diet. In case you don't know me well, I like nothing more than experimenting with different foods and ways of eating them. Sometimes it's cause I'm bored (yawn) or other times, it's because I have a friend or family member that has special food requirements. God forbid (and I mean it) that someone has to feel restricted or hungry when they are eating at my home! The Italian in me wants to make sure that EVERYBODY is satisfied and fed well.
Maybe a few of you are wondering what the heck dukkah is? For the uniformed, dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend made from a combination of different nuts, spices and cumin. I find it quite delicious sprinkled on roasted vegetables and/or chicken (as pictured above) or even something as mundane as a topping for crackers or bread, spread with butter or almond butter. Toasted baguette would be amazing dipped in olive oil and then dipped in this too!
I find spices a gift from god! They can perk up even the most boring dishes (not that I find many foods boring). And, in addition to wonderful flavor, they bring a host of nutritional riches with them. Case in point, cumin being the main star of this delicacy. Although automatically associated with Indian curry dishes and Mexican food recipes, this seed lends itself to many other dishes. Not to be mistaken with caraway seeds - I think they are kinda cousins since they are both from the same plant family (along with parsley and dill) - the Umbelliferae. I know - that probably means nothing to you but I just had to tell you.
I have to admit it wasn't until recently that I even bothered to contemplate what the 'BIG' mushrooms would be like to cook. Not sure why, but I was protective of the little guys (cremini, white, button and brown mushrooms - to name just a few). As it turns out, the Portobello is a mature form of the baby cremini mushrooms and not anything to be intimidated of.
But now having crossed over, I must say that the Portobello is something to be admired...and enjoyed. Hey, doesn't Portobello sound kinda Italian to you? For anybody who knows me, I am very prejudiced about anything and anyone Italian... And sure enough, the Portobello or Portobella is native to Europe and North Africa, and originated in Italy. It actually got its name from Portobello which is a town in Italy. Gotta thank those Italians once again! And in addition to be tasty, versatile, low in calories, the Portobello is a good source of selenium, copper and niacin.