Food & dining

Recipe for yellow split peas with za’atar spiced almonds

Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

1heaping cup yellow split peas
6tablespoons olive oil
1small onion, finely chopped
1clove garlic, finely chopped
½teaspoon ground turmeric
4cups water
1bay leaf
2teaspoons honey
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon lemon juice
Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)
Za’atar spiced almonds (see recipe)
1tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)

1. In a strainer, rinse the peas; set aside.

2. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, and turmeric and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.


3. Add the peas and stir well. Add the water and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring often, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the peas absorb all the liquid and are the consistency of mashed potatoes. Add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, if the peas are not tender by the time the liquid is absorbed. Stir often toward the end of cooking.

4. Stir in the honey, salt, and pepper. Remove the bay leaf; set aside to cool.

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5. In a food processor, pulse peas with the lemon juice until smooth. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and pulse until the mixture is creamy. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

6. Transfer to a platter and shape the puree into a mound with a slight indentation in the center. Sprinkle with olive oil, za’atar spiced almonds, and cilantro. Adapted from “Soframiz”

Za’atar spiced almonds

Makes 1 cup

1cup sliced, skin-on raw almonds
teaspoons sesame seeds
1tablespoon olive oil
¼cup za’atar
teaspoons sumac
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1teaspoon fleur de sel or kosher salt


1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Toss the almonds and sesame seeds with olive oil and spread on the parchment. Bake for 10 minutes, turning often, or until lightly toasted; set aside until warm.

3. In a bowl toss the za’atar, sumac, lemon rind, salt, and almond mixture until well coated.

4. Return to the baking sheet to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Adapted from “Soframiz”

Sheryl Julian can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @sheryljulian.
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