CHILLED CRANBERRY SOUP

2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 cups milk or half and half
2 apples, cored, peeled and chopped
¼ cup orange or apple juice
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

 


 

Puree all the ingredients in a blender or food processor for 2 minutes or until very smooth. Pass the soup through a sieve a couple of times.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

 

Serves 4

cranberry soup

CABBAGE SALAD WITH YOGURT, WALNUTS & RAISINS

2 cups grated/very finely chopped red cabbage
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon minced dill, optional

Dressing
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ground black pepper, to taste

 


 

Combine the first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.

Add the dressing to the salad and toss. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

 

Serves 4

SPICED YOGURT DIP

1 cup plain yogurt (or strained yogurt for a thicker consistency)

1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or finely chopped mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

A pinch of cayenne pepper

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 


 

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Stir them well to combine the flavors. Serve alongside vegetables, falafels or chips.

 
Makes 1 cup

CRANBERRY BEAN DIP

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or 1.5 cups home cooked beans)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ cup cranberry sauce *


In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the garlic until finely minced.

Add the cannellini beans, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil. Purée until you obtain a smooth paste.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Add the cranberry sauce and stir until the dip becomes pink. Serve at room temperature or chilled with pita, flatbread, chips or crudités.


* Basic Cranberry Sauce

Yields ½ cup

1 cup fresh cranberries

½ cup orange juice

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons honey

¼ teaspoon grated orange zest

To make the cranberry sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally and pressing the cranberries down, until you obtain a thick sauce, 10 to 15 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6

MOROCCAN ROASTED BELL PEPPER & TOMATO SALAD

Known as tchoutchouka, this is one of the most popular Moroccan salads. It is best served warm with bread as a tartine or side to any dinner.

2 medium green bell peppers
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground paprika


Line the surroundings of a gas burner with aluminum foil (you’ll be thankful you did when the pepper starts dripping its sticky juices). Turn on the flame to medium-high and char the peppers on all sides until blackened and blistered all over, about 10 minutes. Use tongs to turn them as they can get very hot.

Place the peppers in a paper bag and close it, for about 15 minutes, to allow the peppers to sweat and their skin to become softer. Peel the skin off the peppers using your fingers. Discard the stem and seeds. Finely dice the peppers. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes in a medium skillet with olive oil. Add the garlic and season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Cook the tomatoes until they become soft and turn into somewhat of a thick, chunky sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Mix in the diced peppers and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste the seasoning and adjust to your taste.

Serve warm or at room temp.

Serves 4

STUFFED EGGPLANT ROLLS

1 large eggplant
Olive oil for brushing
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
5 ounces soft goat cheese, at room temp.
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1 roasted red bell pepper, minced
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Minced basil and finely chopped walnuts, for garnish (optional)


Cut off both ends of the eggplant and slice it thinly lengthwise. You should be able to obtain 10 to 12 slices, about 1/8-inch thick.

Brush the eggplant slices generously with olive oil on both sides. (Don’t skimp on oil or they won’t cook through.) Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat a griddle pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Grill the eggplant slices until charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side. (I used a Panini press. It did the job nicely and cooked both sides at the same time.) Set aside to cool a bit.

Combine the goat cheese, garlic, roasted pepper and walnuts in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if you wish, and mix with a spoon.

To fill the eggplant slices, place about a tablespoon of the goat cheese mixture on the wider end of the eggplant and roll.

Garnish with minced basil and finely chopped walnuts, if you wish. Serve at room temperature with crusty bread.

Makes 10 to 12 rolls.

Eggplant Rolls with Goat Cheese & Roasted Peppers.

SAVORY MOROCCAN CHICKPEA FLAN

This quiche-y chickpea dish is known as Karane in Morocco and mostly popular in the northern regions.

1 cup chickpea flour
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ¾ cups water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce —I used Sriracha

Ground cumin and chili powder, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the chickpea flour, salt and garlic powder. Add the rest of the ingredients, whisking energetically until you obtain a very smooth, soupy batter.

Transfer the batter to an 8×8-inch pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the flan is set. It is OK if the surface feels a bit soft and mushy; that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Sprinkle generously with ground cumin and chili powder. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

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

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

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.