MOROCCAN HARIRA SOUP

3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 red onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves
½ cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup butter
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
2 celery sticks
3 cups water
4 cups vegetable broth

2 eggs, beaten
1 lemon cut into wedges, for serving


Place the tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, and 1/2 cup of water in a blender. Blend on high until smooth.

In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the salt, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, and turmeric powder and cook until fragrant 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly pour the blended vegetables into the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes.

Add the garbanzo beans, lentils, and celery sticks. Cover with water and vegetable broth. Simmer covered, 55 to 65 minutes.

Remove the celery sticks and discard. Incorporate the beaten eggs, stirring constantly to cook and shred the eggs, 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serves 4 to 6

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 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

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

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

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.

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

VEGETABLE COUSCOUS

For the vegetables
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
6 sprigs parsley
1 ¾ cups water or vegetable broth
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and halved crosswise
½ cup raisins
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas

For the couscous:
1 cup instant couscous
1 cup boiling water
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon butter


In a medium pot, sauté the onion and garlic in olive until translucent, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, coriander, ginger and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the water or broth, carrots and parsley. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, raisins and chickpeas; cover and cook another 10 minutes. Discard the parsley.

Prepare the couscous by pouring the boiling water over couscous in a large bowl. Stir in the salt and butter. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Arrange the couscous in a dome on the serving plate. Place the vegetables on the couscous. Top with the raisins and sauce.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4