Kitty Morse

Cookbook Author, Food and Travel Writer

Kitty Morse

Cookbook Author, Food and Travel Writer

Since I belong to the age group that should stay away from supermarkets, I decided to keep up a steady supply of greens during the  quarantine by joining the CSA at the family farm down the street. Faced with an overabundance of kale, chard, and beet greens, I headed back to the kitchen.

Note to the wise: Moroccan preserved lemons are the BEST flavoring agent for this sea of greens!  Make your own NOW, it’s the end of Meyer lemon season–or make them with Eurekas. Avoid purchasing any commercial preserved lemon: They are simply floating in water (not preserved in salt).

Watch my video on how to make preserved lemons on You Tube (also on this website), or on KPBS’  A Growing Passion with host, Nan Sterman.

Moroccan  Ramadan Bean Soup

Vegetarian Harira with Kale

Serves 8

Do you have a crockpot hidden at the back of one of your closet? Bring it out! I use mine almost daily (I have not yet mastered the InstantPot)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced

1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

8 Spanish saffron threads, crushed

½ bunch cilantro

10 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

6 cups vegetable broth

1 cup wheat berries, soaked and preferably, pre-cooked

1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans

4 cups chopped kale leaves (or chard)

2 tablespoons diced preserved lemon rind or Wedges of lemon

In a slow cooker or soup pot, heat the oil and cook the onions until wilted.

In a blender or food processor, process in increments until fairly smooth, the tomatoes, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron, cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to the onions and bring to a boil. Add the broth and wheat berries and cook until tender.

About 20 minutes before serving, add undrained garbanzo beans and kale.

Serve in large soup bowls. Squeeze a little lemon juice into each bowl. Leftover harira freezes very well. You will also find variations of this recipe using lamb in Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen (Chronicle Books 1999) and Mint Tea and Minarets: A Banquet of Moroccan Memories (La Caravane 2014.)

Kitty’s Preserved Lemons

12 small, unblemished lemons (small Meyer or Eureka)

Sea salt

1 quart glass canning jar with gasket and lid

Wash and dry the lemons. Cut a dime-sized slice from both poles of one of them. Set on end and cut ¾ of the way through. Rotate the lemon 90 degrees, turn upside down, and make a second cut (at a right angle to the first), ¾ of the way through. Pack both slits with as much salt as they will hold. Transfer the lemon to the jar. Proceed in this manner with remaining lemons, filling the jar as much as possible. Seal and set aside on the kitchen counter overnight.

Over the next few days, as the fruit in the jar softens, force additional salted lemons into the jar until it is tightly packed. The goal is to keep the lemons submerged in juice. Seal the jar. Set aside on a kitchen counter for 4 to 6 weeks, until rinds are tender and the brine attains a syrupy consistency. Refrigerate to slow discoloration of the preserved lemons. Once preserved, they will keep for up to 6 months in the fridge.


Meyers will preserve faster because their skin is thinner. They are also juicier. Pack the jar until the juice of the lemons reaches the top. DO NOT ADD WATER OR OIL.

Recipe excerpted from Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories by Kitty Morse. Copyright 2015.

Watch me on YOU TUBE: Cooking at the KasbahPreserved Lemons YouTube

Cookbook author Kitty Morse shows you how to make Moroccan preserved lemons. and on Nan’ Sterman’s show A Growing Passion. on KPBS San Diego.

Kitty’s Confinement Refrigerator Surprise:

Kale Velouté  with zucchini and onion

What’s in my fridge?

Leftover roasted zucchini

3 boiled baby potatoes

1 cooked sweet potato

4 to 6 leaves Kale or Swiss chard, broken up

½ onion


In a small pan, cook all ingredients except bouillon until tender. Let cool.

Blend until smooth, adding bouillon in increments. Salt and pepper to taste.

Kale with Chermoula:

Serves 2 or 3

Adapted from From Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen.Blanch the leaves in boiling water for a minute or two. Strain and let them cool. Using scissors, chop them into small strips. Then, I am ready for action! Kale, chard, or mallow (bokkola in Morocco) or fresh  spinach are excellent paired with chermoula spices, a flavor dear to Moroccan hearts.

1 bunch baby kale

5 or 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika

Preserved lemon rind, finely diced, to taste (refer to my video on YouTube)

½ cup water

Blanch the kale, and strain. Cut into thin strips.

In a small pan or skillet over medium heat, combine olive oil, garlic, cumin and paprika. Stir to blend and do not burn or the spices will turn bitter. Add kale and water. Cover and cook until kale is very tender, 15 to 20 mns. Add diced preserved lemon rind to taste, and a pinch of salt, if necessary. Stir again. Remove from heat. Serve at room temperature.