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