Halva is a staple around the Mediterranean and at Jewish delis in the states. It’s a confection made of ground sesame seeds—AKA tahini—plus sugar and extra flavorings. The result is this ethereal, airy, nutty, candyfloss-like paste that’s spreadable or spoonable or sliceable and just delicious.
This version, from Hebel & Co. in Los Angeles, is chock full of toasty pistachios, then gets an extra kick from a not-so-secret ingredient: nigella seeds. Think of them as a cross between a caraway seed and black pepper. If you've ever tried our Chernushka rye bread, it gets a jolt from a good portion of nigella seeds, too.
It’s a complex spice, giving the halva an earthy, peppery, bright, sweet, floral type of flavor and aroma.