solstice olives


We had friends over to help celebrate the solstice, and after much deliberation we settled on North African-style food. I made a roasted chicken rubbed with pureed onion and sumac powder (from Claudia Roden’s Middle Eastern Food), chickpeas with pomegranate molasses, Lebanese couscous with apricots, and marinated olives. J made a green salad with strips of piquillo pepper and nuggets of fried garlic (from Casa Moro), and for dessert we just put out a big colander full of ripe strawberries and a bag of chocolate nib cookies from the Breadfarm. Oh, yum.

salad with piquillos and fried garlic

It was all fantastic, but I’d like to make special note of the olives. Continue reading

pomegranate marlin and dill pilaf


So we came back home from our Vancouver trip loaded down with new cookbooks, and of course I had to immediately find something new to cook. The first recipe that jumped out at me was a pomegranate molasses-marinated swordfish from the Casa Moro cookbook. Hey, I thought, we still have pomegranate molasses! And, as fate would have it, we were able to buy big fat steaks of Hawaiian marlin at the store – plus the weather was good enough for outdoor grilling!

To go along with the fish, the book recommended a pilaf, so I tried out the Moro recipe for rice with dill and pine nuts.  It involved rinsing and then soaking basmati rice so that it took very little cooking – not a technique that I’d tried before, but it worked like a charm.

new recipe
marlin steaks

About two hours ahead of time, I combined pomegranate molasses, cinnamon, cilantro, garlic and salt in a pie pan and rubbed it all over the fish steaks, which then went back into the fridge. Then I measured out the rice, rinsed it several times and set it to soak in warm water and salt. J got the grill started, then sliced eggplant and rubbed it with olive oil and salt. Continue reading