Nigella + Sesame Cracker Crisps

August 3, 2021
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I was delighted to get a letter from my sister-in-law Tonia that included a special gift: Nigella flower seeds to grow in my garden. Nigella sativa flowers bloom a gorgeous pale blue, followed by pretty pods full of crunchy little edible seeds. These have a unique “somewhere-between fennel and nutmeg” flavor used world-round in cooking. In fact, Tonia’s letter included memories of the nigella-sprinkled bread sticks her Armenian aunt used to make. Sometimes called black cumin, black caraway or simply “black seeds” and labeled “kalonji” in the Assyrian market near my home, nigella pairs nicely with sesame seed. I prefer crunchy thin crisps over doughy bread sticks with my salads, so I’ve made these crackers very thin. The tiny bit of yeast in the dough makes them bubble up nicely in spots as you bake them, for an even crisper crunch. Brushed with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, these are very good as a snack, or, with salad.

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