Sunday, 8 April 2012

Moroccan Starters

Top right: couscous with flaked almonds, black pepper and ground cumin
This Easter I indulged my friends eating and my cooking by conceiving an enormous Moroccan feast.  There were six of us to dinner, and there are still leftovers to feed 2 people, so do take my measurements with a pinch of salt and pay more attention to the proportions to get appropriate amounts of everything.

You Will Need: Large bowl, large saucepan, colander, chopping board, sharp knife, lemon squeezer

300g bulghur wheat or pearl barley
6 large fresh tomatoes
large red onion
large bunch of curly-leaved parsley
juice 3 lemons
2 tablespoons olive oil

1) Bring a pan of water to the boil.  Simmer the grains for about 40 minutes, until nutty but definitely chewable.  You may wish to do this in advance, drain and keep in the fridge until you are nearly ready to make the rest of dinner.
2) Finely chop the tomatoes, onion and parsley.
3) Juice the lemons.  Mix all of the ingredients together in the large bowl.

 Grilled Tomatoes
You Will Need: Roasting tin, knife, kitchen foil
1 packet cherry tomatoes on the vine
1/2 packet Feta or other hard Greek cheese
flaked almonds
olive oil

1) Preheat the grill.
2) Chop the feta into small pieces. Line the tin with tinfoil, arrange the ingredients and drizzle with oil.
3) Grill until the tomato stems are blackened and the skins are wrinkled off, about 7-10 minutes.

Grape and Pine-Nut Salad

You Will Need: large bowl, lemon squeezer, small frying pan

1 bag sweet fresh salad
1 packet white grapes
pine nuts
2 lemons
olive oil

1) Toast the pine nuts in the little frying pan: get the pan hot, pour in the nuts without any oil and shuffle them until browned and fragrant.
2) Squeeze the lemons.
3) In the large bowl, mix the salad, grapes and nuts; dress with lemon juice and olive oil.

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