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

SAFFRON RICE

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons grated yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup parboiled long grain rice
1/4 cup golden raisins, rinsed
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds


Add the saffron to 1/2 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the grated onion and olive oil in a medium pot and saute until fragrant and golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 1/4 cups of broth or water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add the rice and saffron infusion. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and cook the rice until tender, 25 minutes. Stir in the raisins and almonds. Serve warm.

Serves 4

APPLE, POTATO & EGG SALAD

5 small Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes

2 large Golden Delicious apples; peeled, cored and cut into bite-sized cubes

1/4 cup sliced cornichons

1/2 cup canned corn kernels, rinsed and drained

3 eggs, hard-boiled, yolks and whites separated and chopped

3/4 cup light mayonnaise

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


Place the cubed potatoes in a pot and cover with salted water. Cook over medium high heat until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a colander and let drain and cool a few minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with the apples, pickles, corn and chopped egg whites.

In a small bowl, stir the egg yolks with the mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar.

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

Serves 4

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

BAKED QUINOA WITH CHARD & FETA

1 cup red quinoa (or another color)
2 cups water
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped Swiss chard
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
3 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon harissa or other hot sauce, optional
1 teaspoon baking powder
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8 x 8-inch pan.

Place the cooked quinoa with the rest of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake the quinoa until set and somewhat crispy on the surface, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool a bit before cutting.

Serves 6

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.

EASY BAKED ZUCCHINI

2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, pressed
½ cup picante salsa
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded parmesan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer or slightly overlapped in a large shallow baking pan.

Stir the rest of the ingredients except the cheese in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly on top the zucchini.

Bake 15 minutes or until the zucchini is wilted and sticky from the dried up sauce. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Place back in the oven and allow the cheese to melt, 3 to 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and serve warm.

Serves 4

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 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