Sesame-Almond-Nigella Mix

...Moses went into the tabernacle of witness;
and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded,
and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
Numbers 17:8


Variations of this mixture of nuts, seeds and spices are popular throughout the Middle East and it seems likely the ancient Hebrews were familiar with one like it.


½ cup whole blanched almonds, toasted

½ teaspoon whole cumin seed, toasted

2 tablespoons sesame seeds,

1½ teaspoons nigella seeds

¼ teaspoon salt

Bread, for serving


In a spice grinder, grain mill, or stone grinding implement (such as a Mexican molcajete), grind almonds to consistency of coarse bread crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. Coarsely grind cumin seeds and add to almonds. Stir in sesame seeds, nigella seeds and salt.

Traditionally, a piece of bread is first dunked in olive oil, then into the dry mix. Alternatively, drizzle olive oil over pieces of crusty bread, then top liberally with mix.


Recipe and photography copyright 2009 by Kitty Morse and Owen Morse. All rights reserved.
 Recipe may be not be reproduced, except for review, without permission. 




Jacob’s Lentil, Barley & Mustard Green Pottage

I presented this recipe on the QVC Shopping Network while

promoting the first edition of my book!

Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles;
and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way:
thus Esau despised his birthright.
Genesis 25:34


Esau relinquished his birthright, the privilege and honor bestowed upon him as first-born son, in return for some lentil stew. This hearty pottage of lentils, barley and mustard greens may be similar to the one he ate. Although the ancient Hebrews cultivated the mustard plant primarily for its seed, it is likely that they prepared its peppery leaves as a potherb as well.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons pearl barley

¾ cup brown lentils, rinsed, drained and impurities removed

1 medium leek, white part only, finely diced

6 cups lamb or beef stock or 3
(14 ¼-ounce) cans beef broth

1 bunch mustard leaves, rinsed under running water, drained,
and coarsely chopped

10 fresh mint leaves,
finely chopped or 2 teaspoons dried, crushed mint leaves

Salt to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, barley and lentils. Cook, stirring, until barley turns golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add leeks and stock. Cover and cook, until barley is tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Add mustard leaves and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mint and salt.


Recipe and photography copyright 2009 by Kitty Morse and Owen Morse. All rights reserved. 
Recipe may be not be reproduced, except for review, without permission.