MOROCCAN POTATO FRITTERS

3 medium Russet potatoes, peeled, coarsely grated and drained
2 eggs
6 sprigs parsley, chopped
6 sprigs cilantro, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon paprika powder
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup all purpose flour
About 1 cup canola oil for frying


Soak the shredded potatoes in a bowl of water for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander. Dry the potatoes in a kitchen towel to remove moisture.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the shredded potatoes, parsley, cilantro, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper and flour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

Roll the potato mixture into balls and flatten to form 3-inch patties. Carefully deposit the patties in the pan and fry them until golden and crispy, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Drain them on absorbent paper towels.

Serve with lime wedges or yogurt sauce.

Serves 8

OMELETTE AUX FINES HERBES

2 large eggs
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh chervil or parsley
1 teaspoon unsalted butter


Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs well using a fork. Add the tarragon, chives and chevril and whisk some more.

Heat a medium frying pan over medium heat until hot. Melt the butter until it sizzles. Add the eggs and spread them evenly by lightly twirling the pan. Cook until the omelet is set, browned at the edges and all (or most) liquid is gone, about 1 minute. Using a spatula fold the omelet over in half and transfer to a plate.

Serves 1

MUNG BEAN & SPINACH SOUP

1 large onion
1 large tomato
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
6.5 cups vegetable broth (or a mix of broth and water)
1 cup green mung beans, preferably pre-soaked
2 cups chopped spinach or other edible green
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon


Process the onion, tomato and garlic in a food processor until minced. Transfer to a soup pot.

Stir in the ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, salt, pepper. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes until fragrant. Add the vegetable broth/water. Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the mung beans, cover and simmer for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the beans are open and soft, and the soup is thicker.

Remove from the heat. Incorporate the spinach, olive oil and lemon juice. Stir and let sit 10 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt and the soup to cool down a bit. Serve the soup by itself or with warm cooked rice or flatbread.

Serves 4

MOROCCAN CITRUS SALAD

1 large ruby red grapefruit
1 large navel orange
2 clementines
4 ounces Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon honey, plus more for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios


Using a sharp peeling knife, peel the oranges, grapefruit, navel and clementines, removing the peel, pith and skin. On a cutting board, slice the citrus crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds.

Layer the citrus on the serving plates, starting with a slice of grapefruit, followed by a slice of navel and Clementine.

Prepare the yogurt sauce by whisking the yogurt with honey and orange blossom water in a small bowl.

Top the layered citrus fruit with a dollop of yogurt sauce. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and chopped pistachios. Drizzle with a thin stream of honey.

Enjoy at room temperature.

Serves 4

STEWED CHERRIES & ALMOND GRANITA

For the cherries
2 cups cherries, stemmed
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 small cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon almond extract

For the granita
2 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
3 tablespoons agave syrup
1/8 teaspoon almond extract


To make the stewed cherries, place all the ingredients for the cherries in a medium saucepan.
Simmer over medium heat until the cherries are soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate until serving time.

Combine the almond milk, agave syrup and almond extract in a rectangular plastic container fitted with a tight lid. Freeze for 2 hours.

Remove from the freezer and crush with a fork. Cover with the lid and freeze again for at least 2 hours.

At serving time, place the cherries in the bottom of a glass or bowl. Using a fork, crush the granita, making long vigorous raking motions. Spoon the crushed granita over the cherries.

Enjoy right away.

Serves 4

MOROCCAN ROASTED EGGPLANT SALAD

This salad is know under the Moroccan name zaalouk. The eggplants can be fried or oven-roasted.

For the eggplants
1 medium eggplant
1/3 cup olive oil

For the sauce
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Scant 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut off the top and bottom of the eggplant and peel it, leaving sporadic strips of skin throughout. Cut it into 1/2-inch slices. If the eggplant is old and excessively seedy, you may need to salt and drain it for at least 30 minutes before use, otherwise proceed directly. Place the eggplant slices in a single layer in a large baking dish or cookie sheet and generously brush both sides with olive oil. Roast them for 25 to 30 minutes until tender. (Alternatively, you could fry the eggplant slices until tender.)

Remove from the oven and mash the eggplants on a cutting board with a fork or potato masher.

In a medium sauté pan, cook the tomatoes with garlic and olive oil over medium heat, for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the sea salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the mashed eggplants and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, mashing them some more with a spatula to completely blend with the tomatoes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar.

Serve warm, cold or at room temperature, garnished with chopped parsley. Serve with flatbread or crusty bread.

Serves 4

GRILLED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS + CHICKPEA & FRUIT SALAD

These cauliflower steaks can also be cooked in a pan with a little bit of oil if you prefer that to grilling.


For the cauliflower

1 medium cauliflower head, leaves removed
1/3 cup olive oil
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder

For the salad
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 nectarine, finely diced
½ cup finely diced pineapple
10 basil leaves, chiffonaded
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
A light sprinkling of fine salt and pepper


Preheat the grill for 15 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut the cauliflower lengthwise into four 1 inch-thick slices. Reserve the scraps for another use.

Brush the cauliflower slices generously with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, cumin and curry, and sprinkle both sides of the cauliflower.

Cook the cauliflower slices on the grill, with the lid closed, 5 to 8 minutes per side.

To make the salad, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Plate the cauliflower steaks with the chickpea and fruit salad on top.

Serves 4

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

EASY CUMIN-LIME STEWED RED LENTILS

1 ½ cups red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grated red onion
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish, optional


Place the lentils, vegetable broth, olive oil and salt in a medium pot over medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook 15 to 18 minutes, until the broth is almost evaporated and the lentils soft.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the grated onion, lime juice and cumin.

Serve warm garnished with chopped cilantro leaves.

Serves 3 to 4

Cumin lime red lentils

GREEN & BLACK OLIVE BEAN DIP

½ cup pitted black and green olives
¼ cup sundried tomatoes
½ cup water
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or 1.5 cups home cooked beans)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped scallions


Place the olives, sundried tomatoes and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the olives, sundried tomatoes and their cooking water into the bowl of a food processor. Add the cannellini beans, garlic and vinegar and pulse until very smooth. With the motor still running, pour in the olive oil and process until fully incorporated. Taste and season with pepper. Transfer the puree to a serving bowl. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Garnish with chopped scallions. Enjoy with bread, chips or vegetables.

COLD CUCUMBER & DILL YOGURT SOUP

1 pound cucumbers, peeled and finely diced
1 medium bunch dill, minced
½ cup raisins, chopped
½ cup pistachios, chopped
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup cold water


Place the cucumbers, dill, raisins and pistachios in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Stir the yogurt and cold water well in a separate bowl and add to the cucumber mixture. Toss well to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with extra pistachios, if you wish.

Serves 4

 

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