The allure of Morocco has never seemed stronger. It’s a magnet for European vacationers and corporate retreat planners. It anchors travel spreads and cooking shows and inspires both fashion and interior designers.
Today we showcase one of our favorite recipes from the region which is literally impossible to ruin and celebrate Marrakech-inspired looks for your littlest ones.
“Seven is a magical number in Morocco and there are many recipes for this glorious celebration couscous. The vegetables here are carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions, zucchini, tomatoes and green beans. You can substitute different vegetables if you desire,” The Around the World Cookbook.
Seven Vegetable Couscous (Adapted from the Around the World Cookbook):
• 2 tablespoons sunflower or olive oil
• 1 pound lean lamb, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 2 chicken breasts halved
• 2 onions, chopped
• 6 carrots (12 ounces), cut into chunks
• 2 parsnips (8 ounces), cut into chunks
• 1 turnip
• 6 tomatoes
• 4 cups chicken stock
• Generous pinch of fresh ginger
• 1 cinnamon stick (we used two)
• 1 can chickpeas, drained
• 2 cups couscous
• 2 small zucchini, cut into julienne strips
• 4 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved
• 1/3 cup raisins
• A little Harissa or tabasco sauce (We used a combination of: 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper, 1 tsp ground red pepper and 1 tsp Paprika)
• We added 4 whole cloves
• We added 3 whole cardamom
• We added a dash of freshly ground nutmeg
• Salt and pepper to taste
Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and fry the lamb, in batches if necessary, until evenly browned, stirring frequently. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add the chicken pieces and cook until evenly browned. Transfer to a plate/dish with the lamb.
Heat the remaining oil and add the onions. Fry over a low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the carrots, parsnips, and turnip. Stir well, cover with a lid and “sweat” over low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add the tomatoes, lamb, chicken and stock. Season with salt and black pepper and add the ginger, cloves, cardamon, nutmeg and cinnamon. Here we also added the paprika, cayenne pepper and ground red pepper in lieu of Harissa at the end. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 35-45 minutes, until the meat is nearly tender.
Skin the chickpeas by placing them in a bowl of cold water and rubbing them between your fingers. The skins will rise to the surface. Discard the skins and drain. Prepare the couscous according to the instructions on the package.
Add the skinned chick-peas, zucchini, beans and raisins to the meat mixture, stir gently and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables and meat are tender. Pile the couscous on a large serving platter, making a slight well in the center.
Other ways to bring Moroccan flavor home, come via the new collection from Tea….
Mosaic Tile Graphic Dress, tea collection.com, $29.50
Peppercorn Loveable Necklace, teacollection.com, $12.00
Confetti Tile Tunic Top, teacollection.com, $29.50
Peppercorn Bandana, teacollection.com, $14.00
Moroccan Rose Twirl Top, teacollection.com, $24.50