SPLIT PEA SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves

1 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 bay leaves

1 ½ cups dried green split peas

5 cups vegetable broth

Paprika and cumin, for serving (optional)


In a heavy bottomed pot heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant, 5 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce, if using. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the bay leaves, split peas and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until the peas are soft, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly and discard the bay leaves.

Blend the soup until perfectly pureed and creamy. If it is too thick, add half a cup of water and blend again. Serve it drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with paprika and cumin.

Serves 4

CHERMOULA MARINADE RECIPE

Even though traditionally used to marinate fish, charmoula is delightful in dishes of all sorts. If lacking time to marinate, you may rub vegetables with charmoula and cook them right away. The flavors are strong enough that your dish will still taste amazing.

 

1 teaspoon paprika powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 taspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

 


Place all the ingrdients in a bowl. Stir to mix. Alternatively, process all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Coat vegetables with the chermoula. Marinate for at least 1 to 2 hours before cooking.

 

Makes marinade for about 1 pound of produce.

SPICED & HERBED GOAT CHEESE

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

5 ounces fresh goat cheese

Crackers or bread

 


 
Place the black pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ground cloves, cayenne pepper, and thyme on a large plate. Stir with a spoon until well mixed. Spread into a thin layer.

Shape the goat cheese into a log. Roll the log in the spice-herb mix until the cheese is completely covered.

Wrap the goat cheese tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with crackers or bread and fresh fruit. The cheese is also delicious drizzled with a little honey.
 
Serves 4 to 6

COUSCOUS WITH CARAMELIZED FRUIT

This is a delicious sweet couscous that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or even as dessert.
For the cooked fruit
1 small yellow onion, cut into thin strips
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
½ cup pomegranate arils
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon ras el hanout (I used this one–you can make or buy it)

For the couscous
¾ cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ras el hanout
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
2/3 cup instant whole grain couscous

 


 

Fill the pot of a steamer about halfway with water and bring to a boil. Place the onion, apples and pineapple in the steamer basket over the boiling water. Cover and steam until soft but not mushy, 10 to 15 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, bring the butter and honey to a sizzle until they’re a beautiful golden caramel color. Stir in ras el hanout. Add the steamed onion, apples and pineapple. Toss to coat with the glaze and cook for 2 minutes until lightly caramelized.

Bring water, oil, honey, salt, ras el hanout, cinnamon and garlic powder to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the couscous. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Plate the couscous onto four dessert/appetizer plates. Top with the glazed onion and fruit. Disperse pomegranate arils on top.

Enjoy it warm.

Serves 4

 

MOROCCAN BRIOCHES

Since this recipe requires refrigeration prior to baking, it is best to prepare the brioches at night and bake them first thing in the morning. They are wonderful right out of the oven for breakfast.

 

For the yeast
1 cup milk
2 packages (14 grams) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar

For the dough
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
2 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons orange blossom water (substitute rosewater or ½ tsp vanilla extract)
3 teaspoons anise seeds
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

For the eggwash
1 egg
2 tablespoons water

 


 

Microwave the milk in a small bowl for 45 seconds until warm but not burning hot (about 105-110 degrees). Stir in the yeast and a teaspoon of sugar. Let activate 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.

Place the turbinado sugar, egg yolks, butter, oil and orange blossom water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Mix at low speed until incorporated. Add the anise seeds. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add them to the wet mixture. Add the yeast-milk mixture. Switch to a dough hook attachment and knead the dough at low speed at first, then at medium speed until light and supple, 5 minutes.

Roll the dough into a ball. Place the dough ball in a large oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and a towel. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Divide the dough into 12 balls. Transfer them to a lightly greased baking sheet, placing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Take the pan out of the fridge and allow to slightly warm up at room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking rack in the center of the oven.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg and water well to make eggwash. Brush the buns with eggwash and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Bake the buns 20 minutes.

Enjoy warm with some honey and your favorite warm drink.

Makes 12

ORANGE SALAD WITH RED ONIONS & OLIVES

4 navel oranges

½ small red onion, very thinly sliced

½ cup pitted green or black olives

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small garlic clove, finely grated on a Microplane

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Sea salt, to taste

½ tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

 


 

Remove the peel and pith from the oranges and slice them into ¼-inch rounds. Arrange them on a shallow plate. Disperse the onion slices and olives on top of the oranges.

 

In a small bowl combine the lemon juice,  garlic, cumin, cinnamon and salt. Drizzle the olive oil, whisking constantly.  Spoon the dressing evenly over the oranges. Sprinkle the salad with chopped cilantro.

Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

 

Serves 4

Moroccan Orange Salad with Red Onions and Olives

COUSCOUS CASSEROLE

1 cup finely diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)

1 cup finely diced celery

2 tablespoons grated onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons harissa or other hot sauce

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste)

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

½ cup sliced green olives

1/8 cup capers

1 ½ cups whole grain instant couscous

2 cups vegetable broth

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the carrots, celery, onion, olive oil, hot sauce, salt, pepper and turmeric powder in a medium sauté pan. Sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the olives and capers.

Place the couscous in an 8-inch square pan. Add the vegetable broth. Add the vegetables. Toss to combine. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Enjoy warm by itself or as a side.

 
Serves 4

MHEMMER

Mhemmer or Meguina is a Sephardic dish similar to a frittata or tortilla Espanola. It is a meal in and by itself. Eggs, mashed potatoes, carrots, peas and a few aromatics are combined to produce a very satisfying dish. It is baked and dense like a cake. It’s easy to cut into slices and looks pretty on the plate, its studded peas and carrots peeking out on the sides.

 

2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup peas
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 large eggs
Sea salt (I used ½ teaspoon)
Freshly ground pepper (I used ¼ teaspoon)
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
½ cup shredded gruyère or parmesan

 


 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-inch rimmed baking pan.

Place the potatoes in a pot of water and cook them over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add the carrots and peas. Cook another 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, sauté the shallots and garlic in olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, 2 to 3 minutes.

Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and mash them using a potato ricer or fork. Beat in the eggs vigorously, one at a time. Add the sautéed shallots and garlic, peas, carrots, salt, pepper, parsley and shredded cheese. Stir well to combine.

Pour the egg mixture into the prepared pan. Bake until the mixture is set, 35 minutes. Serve warm with hot sauce.

Serves 6 to 8

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

TRADITIONAL MOROCCAN CARROT SALAD

6 medium carrots, peeled and diagonally cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
12 sprigs fresh parsley
Sea salt, to taste

 


Place the carrots in a steamer basket set in a pot of simmering water and cover it with a lid. Steam the carrots until crisp-tender, 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, cook them in boiling water over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes then drain. Let cool.

 

Meanwhile, process the rest of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Combine the cooked carrots with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Marinate in the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours, if you can. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

Serves 3 to 4

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