STUFFED CHARD LEAVES

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 scallions, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup jasmine rice
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup chopped roasted cashews
½ cup raisins, presoaked in warm water until plump
¼ cup chopped dill
Juice of ½ lemon
A large bunch Swiss chard, stems cut off

Vinaigrette
Equal parts olive oil and lemon juice


In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the scallions for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, rice, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes. The rice should be fully cooked but still firm. Remove from the heat. Drain excess liquid.

Transfer the rice to a mixing bowl and let it cool a bit. Add the cashews, raisins, dill and lemon juice. Toss a couple of times to combine. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Blanch the chard leaves for 2 to 3 minutes, until they look tender. Dry each leaf in paper towel and cut out the middle rib to obtain two halves. Working horizontally, fill each half leaf (vein side up) with about a tablespoon of the rice mixture. Fold by tucking in the sides and tightly rolling the leaf into a spring roll shape. Arrange the rolls on a plate.

Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice until emulsified to make the vinaigrette. Spoon the vinaigrette on top of the stuffed leaves. Enjoy at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Serves 4

Stuffed Chard Leaves

 

MOROCCAN JAM COOKIES

1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
Strawberry or raspberry jam for filling the cookies
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting, optional


In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamed. Add the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat. Add the dry ingredients and mix.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface, knead briefly. Divide into 2 pieces and flatten each one into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Roll 1 disc of dough at a time to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and transfer them onto the parchment paper lined pan, leaving 1 inch between cookies. Using a smaller cookie cutter cut out the centers of half of the cookies. Reroll scraps and repeat.

Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Flip bottom half the cookies over; top each one with 1 teaspoon of jam. Dust the top halves with confectioner’s sugar and place on the bottom halves.

MAKES ABOUT 15

Moroccan jam cookie sandwiches

WHOLE WHEAT PEAR GALETTE

For the crust
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons unrefined brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
5 ounces cold butter, cut into small pieces
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup chilled water
Egg wash

For the fruit
2 to 3 medium red pears, cored, quartered and sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon unrefined brown sugar

For the glaze
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom


Combine the flour, salt and brown sugar in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the vanilla extract to the water and pour it in the food processor a little at a time pulsing until the dough appears moist enough to stick together. Transfer the dough to a bowl. Form the dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour before use.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Let the dough warm up at room temperature about 10 minutes before stretching it. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 to 15-inch circle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle it with brown sugar. Carefully transfer the dough circle onto the parchment paper.

Overlap the pear slices on the dough, starting in the center and working your way out into a rose pattern. Stop about 2 inches from the edges. Fold the edges of the dough over the outer rim of the fruit, pleating and pinching as necessary.

Warm the ingredients for the glaze on the stove or in the microwave for 30 seconds until melted. Stir and brush the pear slices.

Brush the crust edges with egg wash. Sprinkle the whole tart (crust edges included) with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Bake until the pears are soft and the dough golden brown and crusty, 45 minutes.

Let cool slightly before enjoying.

Serves 6

whole wheat pear galette

GLUTEN-FREE BROWNIES

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
2 large free-range eggs
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup tapioca starch
1/8 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 335 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a large glass or plastic bowl in the microwave for 1 ½ minutes, stirring at 30 second increments. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract, just enough to mix them (no need to aerate the eggs).

Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk well. Sift in the tapioca starch and salt, and whisk well to incorporate the ingredients. Pour the batter (which should be pretty thick and sticky) in the prepared pan. Place on the middle oven rack and bake 20 to 23 minutes, or until set but not completely dry.

Let cool and enjoy.

Serves 6 to 8

 

CUCUMBER & OLIVE SALAD WITH TAHINI DRESSING

For the salad:
1 English or Armenian cucumber, quartered and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 large tomato, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/2 small red onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon tahini
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil


Place all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl.

for the dressing, combine the vinegar, tahini , salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until creamy.

Add the dressing to the salad and toss to combine.

Serve at room temperature. If the ingredients are cold from refrigeration, let them come to room temperature before serving.

Serves 4

 

QUINOA PATTIES

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
½ medium onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup flour
Vegetable oil or clarified butter, for pan frying


Place the quinoa with 2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, chop the carrot, celery and onion finely in a mini food processor. Transfer to a frying pan. Add the olive oil and sweat the vegetables over medium heat, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs with mustard and mayonnaise. Add the cooked quinoa, flour, vegetables, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.

Generously coat a large non-stick frying pan with oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Shape the quinoa mixture into 3-inch patties. Carefully and closely deposit the patties onto the hot pan. Cook the patties undisturbed, 3 to 5 minutes per side until their surface is brown and crispy. Use two spatulas to carefully turn them over. Proceed in two batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and making flipping the patties difficult.

Serve with hot sauce.

Serves 4

MOROCCAN SPICE-ROASTED CARROT & BLOOD ORANGE SALAD

2 cups small carrots (5 to 6 inches long), peeled and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
4 blood oranges
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into small cubes
2 cups spinach leaves or arugula

Dressing:
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons hazelnut oil


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, toss the carrots with oil. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle the carrots with the spice mixture. Bake for 25 minutes or until tender in the middle and crispy on the edges. Let cool.

To cut the oranges into segments start by cutting the ends off the oranges, then cut away the peel and white pith. Over a plate, cut along both sides of each membrane with a paring knife to remove the segments, allowing them to fall on the plate.

In a large bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, gradually adding the oil. Toss in the spinach or arugula. Add the carrots, blood oranges and goat cheese. Toss lightly to combine.

Serve at room temperature.

Serves 3 to 4.

BULGUR SALAD WITH ASPARAGUS, MINT & FETA

1 cup bulgur
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 cup diced asparagus
15 mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon


Place the bulgur in a bowl, cover it with boiling water and let it sit 20 minutes until it swells up. Drain excess water.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute the shallot until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bulgur and toss. Remove from the heat and let cool a bit for a minute or two. Add the mint, cilantro, feta, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Toss a couple of times to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.

GRILLED MAPLE-GLAZED WATERMELON, OREGANO & FETA SALAD

5 watermelon slices, rinds removed

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

3 ounces crumbled feta

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano, plus some whole leaves for garnish


Preheat the grill on high for 10 to 15 minutes.

Brush the watermelon slices with maple syrup and sprinkle them with cardamom on both sides. Grill the watermelon, 3 to 5 minutes per side or until grill marks appear.

Cut the watermelon into bite-sized cubes and place it in a large bowl. Add the feta and chopped oregano and toss.

Serve immediately, garnished with whole oregano leaves. Or chill the salad first, if you prefer.

Makes 2 plentiful servings.

MOROCCAN SEMOLINA GRIDDLE CAKES

Similar to arepas, these cakes are known as harsha in Morocco. They are served for breakfast or snack, typically warm with honey or jam.

 

2 cups semolina (or cornmeal for GF)

1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¾ stick (6 tbsps) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup buttermilk or milk


Preheat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Combine the dry ingredients (first four) together in a large mixing bowl.

Work the butter into the semolina or cornmeal with your fingers until it appears like wet sand.

Slowly mix in the buttermilk or milk to moisten the cornmeal or semolina.

Gather the dough and spread it on a flat surface, about ½-inch thick. Cut circles using a cup or biscuit cutter. Carefully transfer the harcha discs to the skillet using a spatula. Cook the harcha over low heat 5 to 8 minutes per side, or until cooked throughout and brown spots have formed on the surface .

Makes 6 cakes