Cauliflower Tagine

This dish was the perfect way to celebrate my beautiful CSA cauliflower. Although the base of this tagine was a bit spicy, the cauliflower and cheesy breadcrumb topping offset the spiciness and created a perfect balance. Because I didn’t have the Tunisian spice blend, Tabil, on hand, I was able to create the spice blend myself. The spiciness in the final dish could be easily modified by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes in the spice blend.

The tagine recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. I reduced the amount of olive oil to lighten the recipe. I also included a leek as well as green and yellow bell peppers from my CSA share. The spice blend recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com. It was a full-flavored and fabulous vegetarian casserole.

For the Tabil Spice Blend:

Yield: about 3 tablespoons

  • 1 1/2 T coriander seeds
  • 2 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 T caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Finely grind all ingredients in a spice mill.

Note: The remaining spice blend can be reserved in an airtight container at room temperature.

For the Tagine:
Yield: Serves 6

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Vegetarian Harira

This is a vegetarian version of Harira, a traditional, savory Moroccan soup. It is incredibly full-flavored- loaded with spices and legumes.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I added fresh lemon juice, used canned San Marzano tomatoes, dried garbanzo beans, and increased the amount of garlic. Tanis recommends serving the soup the day after it is prepared in order to allow the flavors to meld.

We ate it with warm naan and green salad. It was hearty, healthy, filling, and delicious.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced, about 2 cups
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon crumbled saffron
  • 1 (3-inch) piece cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups diced ripe tomato, fresh or canned (I used 2 28-oz cans San Marzano tomatoes, drained)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • coarse salt
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup peeled dried fava beans or 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • ¼ pound angel hair pasta or vermicelli, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Put olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly colored, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, ginger, pepper, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, saffron and cinnamon. Cook for about 2 minutes more.
  4. Add tomatoes, celery leaves and cilantro and bring to a brisk simmer.
  5. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until mixture thickens somewhat, then add 1 teaspoon salt, the brown lentils, red lentils and dried faves or soaked chickpeas.
  6. Add 8 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, covered with the lid ajar.
  7. Let soup simmer for 30 minutes, then taste broth and adjust salt.
  8. Cook for 1 hour more at a gentle simmer, until the legumes are soft and creamy. It may be necessary to add more liquid from time to time to keep soup from being too porridge-like. It should be on the thick side, but with a pourable consistency. (With every addition of water, taste and adjust for salt.)
  9. Just before serving, add pasta and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  10. Add fresh lemon juice.
  11. Ladle soup into small bowls and pass lemon wedges for squeezing, as desired.
Note: The soup may be made in advance and refrigerated. (This is recommended!) If it thickens, thin with water or broth when reheating, and adjust the salt.

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North African Meatballs

This ultra-flavorful dish is based upon a version of North African meatballs served in France, where they are called boulettes. Both the sauce and the meatballs are loaded with spices. SO fragrant and delicious.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I used ground turkey instead of beef or lamb and increased the garlic. I also forgot to include the raisins in my couscous! We ate it with steamed spinach on the side but it would also be incredible served with roasted tomatoes or roasted cauliflower- or all of the above. Next time!

I’m sharing this dish (belatedly, again) at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #111 this week, co-hosted by Naina @ Spice in the City and Julianna @ Foodie on Board. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 6

For the Saffron Tomato Sauce:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups finely diced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • large pinch saffron, crumbled
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock, vegetable broth, or water

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed day-old firm white bread
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  • 1 1/4 pound ground beef, lamb, or turkey
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅛ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 3 T chopped parsley
  • 3 T chopped cilantro
  • 3 T finely chopped scallion
  • all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • olive oil or vegetable oil

For the Couscous:

  • 1 cup giant couscous, m’hamsa, or medium couscous
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • ½ cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water to soften, then drained
  • coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make the Sauce:

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add onion and cook without browning until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon and saffron, and stir well to incorporate.
  3. Season generously with salt and pepper, and allow to sizzle for 1 minute more.
  4. Add stock and simmer gently for 5 minutes. May be made several hours in advance, up to a day.

Make the Meatballs:

  1. Put bread cubes and milk in a small bowl. Leave bread to soak until softened, about 5 minutes, then squeeze dry.
  2. In a mixing bowl, put squeezed-out bread, ground meat and egg.
  3. Add salt, pepper, garlic, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, cloves, coriander and cumin. Mix well with hands to distribute seasoning.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons each of parsley, cilantro and scallion, and knead for a minute. May be prepared several hours in advance, up to a day.
  5. With hands or a cookie scoop, roll mixture into small round balls about the size of a quarter.
  6. Dust meatballs lightly with flour. (I gently rolled the meatballs in the flour as I lifted them up to place in the pan.)
  7. Heat a few tablespoons of oil, or a quarter-inch depth, over medium-high heat and fry meatballs until barely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Drain and blot on paper towel.
  8. Simmer meatballs in saffron-tomato sauce, covered, over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, Make the Couscous:

  1. Cook according to package directions, fluff gently and stir in butter and raisins.
  2. Season with salt and cinnamon, and toss well.

To Serve:

  1. Garnish meatballs with remaining parsley, cilantro and scallion. Serve with couscous and roasted tomatoes, roasted cauliflower, or steamed greens, as desired.

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Pork Tenderloin with Warm Harissa, Couscous & Roasted Vegetable Salad

I wanted to make this dish because it was so pretty! 🙂

I am obsessed with Harissa- and this recipe has an amazing homemade version. This fabulous Moroccan spice paste is then mixed into an Israeli couscous-based warm salad with roasted potatoes and vegetables. Wow. It lived up to its photo in the magazine- really lovely! The leftover Harissa was fabulous over the pork slices. This delicious recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

I’m bringing this dish to share at Fiesta Friday #73, co-hosted by Michelle @ Giraffes Can Bake and Juju @ Cooking With Aunt Juju. Join the party & check out their wonderful blogs as well!! Enjoy 🙂

Yield: Serves 6

For the Harissa Paste:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili paste (I used chili powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Couscous:

  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the Roasted Vegetables:

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch small carrots, preferably heirloom in a mix of colors, scrubbed or peeled and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt

For the Pork:

  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 1/4 pounds total)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or safflower oil

For the Warm Salad:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • coarse salt
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Harissa Paste, plus more for serving

Make the Harissa Paste:

  1. Roast the red pepper over the flame of a gas burner, turning with tongs, until blackened and blistered. (Or roast under broiler, turning as needed.) Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand 15 minutes. Rub off skin with paper towels, then remove and discard ribs and seeds.
  2. Puree pepper with garlic, chili paste, spices, oil, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.) Season with salt and pepper.

Make the Couscous:

  1. Bring broth and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a medium pot. Add couscous and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is al dente, about 8 minutes more.
  2. Remove from heat, drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat.
  3. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, spread in an even layer, and let cool, 10 minutes.

Make the Roasted Vegetables:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (on convection roast, if possible).
  2. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes and carrots with olive oil; season with salt.
  3. Spread in a single layer and roast, tossing halfway through, until tender, about 20 minutes for the potatoes and up to 30 minutes for the carrots. Let cool completely on baking sheet.

Cook the Pork:

  1. Raise oven heat to 425 degrees (on convection roast, if possible).
  2. Season pork all over with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Swirl in canola oil to coat. Add pork and brown on all sides, turning as needed, about 6 to 12 minutes total.
  3. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in middles registers 140 degrees, about 11 minutes. (I used my oven probe.)
  4. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest 15 minutes before cutting into 1/2-inch slices.

Make the Warm Salad:

  1. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium. (I used the same pan the pork was cooked in after removing the meat to rest after cooking.)
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl, add tomatoes and herbs, and toss to combine.
  4. Add prepared couscous, roasted vegetables, and harissa paste to the salad; toss to combine. Season with salt.
  5. Arrange couscous mixture on a large platter and top with pork. Serve, with extra harissa on the side.

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Moroccan Chicken Brochettes with Garlic Sauce

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I am a total convert to chicken thighs- they really are the tastiest chicken meat and never dry out when cooked. This grilled chicken was tender, flavorful, and wonderful. Cutting the chicken into 2-inch pieces was the perfect size for cooking and eating. The garlic sauce was creamy and SUPER garlicky- amazing!! This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit. We ate it on warm naan, smothered with sauce, with salad and our favorite Turkish Bulgur and Vegetable Pilaf on the side. DELICIOUS!!

For the Garlic Sauce:

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 T plain Greek yogurt

For the Chicken:

  • 2-3 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2″ pieces (10 thighs)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • coarse salt
  • vegetable oil (for grilling)
  • Warm naan or pita bread
  • grilled grape tomatoes or chopped fresh tomatoes
  • fresh mint leaves, for serving, optional
  • 8-inch bamboo or metal skewers

To Make the Garlic Sauce:

  1. Place the chopped garlic in a mortar; season with salt and pound to a very fine paste.
  2. Transfer garlic paste to a small bowl and gradually whisk in the oil.
  3. Very gradually whisk yogurt into garlic mixture until emulsified. (If it is added too fast the sauce will break. If it does break, gradually whisk in 1 tsp water just before serving.)

Note: Garlic sauce can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

To Prepare the Chicken:

  1. Toss chicken, garlic, parsley, cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl; season with salt. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. (or up to 12 hours)
  2. Prepare grill for medium-high heat and oil grate.
  3. Thread the chicken onto skewers. Grill, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 8-12 minutes. If grilling tomatoes, thread onto skewers and lightly oil. Grill until tender.
  4. Serve with garlic sauce, tomatoes, warm naan or pita, and garnish with mint, if desired.

Note: Chicken can be marinated 12 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

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If you like this you may also like:

Saffron Pappardelle with Moroccan Spiced Shallot-Butter Sauce

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We have been pappardelle crazy in my household lately– we can’t eat enough of it!! The original recipe had instructions to make saffron tagliatelle but I opted to put saffron threads in my pappardelle cooking water. This shortcut added a surprising amount of flavor – and color- to the noodles. Great! The spiced shallot-butter sauce was spicy and loaded with flavor. This recipe was adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi. I omitted the mint and made half of the suggested amount of sauce (I wasn’t baking… I couldn’t use 2 sticks of butter!). I am a sauce lover and the noodles were completely coated in delicious sauce; the reduced amount was perfect. A wonderful and quick weeknight meal!

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 pound of egg pappardelle or tagliatelle
  • 1 large pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large shallots, finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chile flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt, or more, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley (alternatively, 1/4 cup mint and 1/4 cup parsley can be used)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toast the pine nuts for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant and light brown in color.
  3. Make the Moroccan Spiced Butter: Place the butter and oil in a frying pan and add the shallots. Cook the shallots gently for about 10 minutes, or until they soften and the butter turns slightly brown. Add all of the spices, salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  4. Add a large pinch of saffron threads to the salted boiling water. Cook the pasta in the water according to package instructions. Drain and return to the saucepan.
  5. Pour the spiced butter over the pasta and stir well. Sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts and gently incorporate. Serve.

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Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup

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I have been desperate to use Harissa. I am not sure if that one ingredient made this soup so delicious…. but it was the best butternut squash soup I have ever made or eaten. The recipe calls for an aged goat cheese but the author also suggested using Gouda if the other was unavailable. I used a goat milk Gouda cheese (perfect!); the cheese gave the soup an amazing flavor but was not overpowering. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Paula Wolfert. We ate it with popovers and green salad. YUM!

For the La Kama Spice Blend: (use extra on roasted vegetables)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white or freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cubeb pepper (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the Soup:

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 pounds butternut, kabocha or calabaza squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
  • 1/4 pound aged goat cheese, shredded (I used goat milk Gouda)
  • Harissa
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Make the Spice Blend: In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Store in an airtight container.
  2. In a large, heavy pot, toss the onion with the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in the squash, cover with a round of parchment paper and the lid and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of the spice blend and the water to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender, 20 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (I use an immersion blender in the pot.); add the crème fraîche, three-fourths of the cheese and 1 teaspoon of harissa to the last batch. Return all of the soup to the pot and season with salt and black pepper. Serve the soup, passing the remaining cheese and more harissa at the table.

One Year Ago:

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