One of my favorite, slightly more complicated flavors to add to different cold (and occasionally hot) dishes is this spicy marinade that I recently learned from my mother. You might be familiar with dukkah, which is a dry blend of Egyptian spices typically used as or on top of a dip—that’s not what this is. I know that the original form of this spice mix, served on top of thick cuts of tomatoes, originally came from my grandmother. She used to make it for my father growing up, and now, my mother makes it for my father.
In terms of taste, you can expect a bit of a kick, especially with the heat of the peppers, but realistically, a mouth watering, savory blend of just the right amount of oils, citrus, mild and multi-tiered spice, and coolness (thanks to the mint). As a marinade, this mix can be expected to seep in and marry it’s host, whatever that host may be, making it a bit different from dukkah, which is accentuated by more of a top layered crunch. I think about this blend of flavors often during my summer days, as it’s the perfect way to add a little bit of heat to a cold dish, without turning on the stove.
I use jalapeño, but any type of hot pepper, based on the level of spice you're comfortable with, would work. —Ashley Hefnawy
about 1 cup
large jalapeño, minced
cloves of garlic, minced
fresh mint leaves, chopped
cilantro leaves, chopped
Juice of 2 whole lemons
In This Recipe
Mix all the ingredients together well... and that's it. Spread over tomatoes (or any other dish). Use it as or in a dressing, if you’d like. Just make sure to store it at room temperature. If you put it in the fridge, let the olive oil loosen by mixing it with a spoon and leaving the mix on the counter until it's loose again.