There was so much to absorb from the rich and involving culture of Morocco; above all else, the food was the most prominent aspect in my mind, and you can see some of my delicious observations in the pictures below. I found the sumptuous mix of fresh vegetables, rich spiced flavours, and exotic fruits (usually home-grown), blended to create an orgy of heavenly new flavours. I felt totally inspired to create my own delicious ‘Moroccan Salad’, since it seems to be such a mainstay of the local diet!
So here’s a fairly quick and easy recipe, just without a lot of the sugars, oils and breads that seem to be de-rigeur for the Moroccans! FYI this works really well with grilled chicken or any type of fish; just pop it on top to tick the ever-important protein box! Click below to see photos (shot at Dar Yacout and the Kasbah Tamadot) and read the ‘how-to’ Enjoy! Faya x
Moroccan cuisine is a marriage of of Moorish and Berber traditions. In the cosiest depths of ‘the Souks’, I encountered spices such as curcuma, harissa, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, pepper, turmeric, paprika, aniseed, sesame seeds, saffron and coriander. Not only spices, but herbs ranging from mint leaves to parsley, and plenty of olives and fresh citrus fruits. The main ‘focal’ meal is the lunch-equivalent midday meal – a regular high point for me! It would typically kick off with a hot or cold salad, followed by a tagine, and occasionally thereafter, a lamb or chicken dish with couscous and some vegetables. At the end of every meal a glass of very sweet mint tea is considered standard form. Many of the concepts they employ really appeal to me: coucous (low GI, complex carbs), olive oil (healthy fats), chickpeas/lentils (vegetable proteins), spices (natural flavouring)…
My Moroccan inspired couscous salad (serves 2):
2 yellow onion
2 garlic pieces
400g uncooked couscous
1 can of chickpeas (no salt)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 pinch black pepper
0.5 tsp chili powder
0.5 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp cumin
0.5 pc lemon zest and juice
1 pinch of saffron
1. Finely chop the onion and fry until soft, then add the garlic and the spices.
2. Fry the chopped tomato.
3. Add the Couscous and some boiled water. Let it sit for c 2 minutes and then remove from hob. Put a lid on the pan and let the couscous absorb the remaining water until visibly plumped.
In the oven
1. Cut the zucchini, aubergines and peppers into really quite large chunks and grill for c 15 minutes.
Once its all done place the couscous in a large bowl, add the fresh coriander, the sultanas and squeeze two lemons on. Finally throw the grilled vegetables on top of the couscous mountain!