Moroccan is a versatile and spice-packed cuisine. I find that powerful flavours paired with a series of mouth-pleasing textures allows me to create some tasty vegetarian dishes. This dish from left to right is a simple homemade hummus, Moroccan Ratatouille, Sweet Potato and Avocado Salad, sliced orange. Sprinkled with a few seeds, and we've got a protein filled dinner, with great fats and carbs and excellent balance of flavour. I didn't even notice the absence of meat! They all last really well too, so look forward to leftovers.
Three elements, three recipes below.
3 x 400g Tins Chickpeas
3 Tbsp Unhulled Tahini
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
4 Cloves of Peeled Garlic
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste
2 Teaspoons of Smoked Paprika
Strain the chickpeas, whack them in the food processor with the tahini, garlic, paprika and lemon juice.
Turn on the food processor and get everything turning over. Then, slowly add oil with the blades turn until it just starts to run smooth and turn easily.
When done, add about a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. Blend that through. Try it, and it should be there.
Moroccan Ratatouille is the next dish, again, really simple and big on flavour.
1 Aubergine, diced into inch cubes
3 Courgettes, halved lengthways, sliced into pieces about a centimetre thick
1 Red Capsicum, diced
3 Onions, Brown, Red or white is fine, roughly diced
1 Bulb of Garlic, Peeled and Minced
1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger
10 roma tomatoes roughly chopped, or, two good quality tins of chopped tomatoes
1 Tablespoon of Smoked Paprika
1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Tablespoon Dried Rosemary, or 2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
2 Bay Leaves
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
White Wine Vinegar
In a stock pot, put a lug of oil in the pot with the onions and garlic. Saute them on a medium heat until soft.
Add the herbs and spices and a nudge of molasses, about a tablespoon. On the same heat, continue to saute until the mixture is well integrated.
Add the aubergine, courgettes and capsicum, a little more oil and a splash of vinegar. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften.
Once they begin to soften, add the tomatoes, 1 cup of water and lower the heat to the lowest. Cook until the mixture is thick, courgette is soft and the aubergine is beginning to break down. I recommend about an hour on the stovetop.
The flavours should be well integrated, but still layered.
Salt well, pepper aggressively. As side, maybe add fried chillis to the mix. Or if you're not doing hummus, add some chickpeas. Experiment!
The Avocado and Sweet Potato Salad is the final element to this dish.
Pot for Boiling Water
2 Large Orange Sweet Potatoes, diced into 1.5cm cubes
3 Avocados, roughly chopped
1 Red onion, finely sliced
2 Tomatoes, sliced into thin wedges.
3 cloves of garlic, minced.
1 tsp of Dried Oregano
A bunch of fresh Coriander
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
Preheat oven to 190 C.
Boil a salted pot of water. Blanch the sweet potato cubes for 2-3 minutes, then strain.
In the roasting dish, toss the blanched sweet potato cubes in a generous lug of olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Bang that in the oven for twenty minute or until soft.
While that's cooking, mix your red onion, avocado, tomato and lemon juice. Set aside until the sweet potato is cooked.
Remove the sweet potato, and let cool for five minutes, then in a mixing bowl, toss the avocado mixture and sweet potato together. Add shredded coriander and toss again.
Salt and pepper again, drizzle with olive oil and then serve.