Category Archives: Salads

Salads

The Kasbah Chronicles: Summer 2022 Musings and More! NEW COOKBOOK COMING

THE KASBAH CHRONICLES
April to June 2022
and a
Happy Fourth of July
(already?)


Bestila filled with Sweet Shredded Chicken
Recipe in Mint Tea and Minarets (easier to make than it looks!)

Musings
 A pet peeve: book theft

A quote from Gertrude Stein

Street Legacy, presents a new  exhibit at California Center for the Arts
and an unusual opera created in Escondido

RECIPES
Tomatoes!

This morning’s crop
to make SALMOREJO (see below)

My tentacular passion fruit vine


is barely a year old and has taken over our gazebo!

Chef Ron’s Salmon Koulibiac (see more below)
Koulibiac de Saumon (miam!)

Au Revoir
to A Biblical Feast and
Cooking at the Kasbah (in print for 21 years)

I am headed for Le Grand Est (Alsace Lorraine, Strasbourg, and Châlons-en-Champagne
land of my French ancestors. Any recommendations?
J’espère me rendre en France début septembre pour visiter la terre de mes ancêtres en
Champagne. Avez-vous  des conseils à partager?
Links of interest en français and in English

Kitty is selling antique and vintage Moroccan items

I love feedback

Musings:
My latest pet peeve and cautionary tale:
I shipped a box of 20 books to the Isabella Gardner Museum https://www.gardnermuseum.org/in Boston, which carries Edible Flowers: a Kitchen Companion in its lovely gift store. Imagine my dismay last week when the book buyer wrote me saying she received only 9 books. The box had been opened and 11 books “lifted”, box resealed and shipped to the museum. No one could explain this in the museum’s mail room. I had insurance and attempted to navigate the USPS nightmarish website to find the right forms. I gave up and have filed the claim via email.

I already “lost” a box of 22 books in the mail last January. Light fingered artists at work in the USPS system??.

RECIPE

Kitty’s Salmorejo
Variation on a theme:
Purchase ceviche or make your own and drop
some into a cup of salmorejo

Serves 4

1 cup cubed day-old country-style bread, torn into pieces
1 cup broth or water
4 large, ripe tomatoes (1 ½ to 2 lbs), peeled, and coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped (optional)
3 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped (optional)

Soak bread in ½ cup broth or water.
Combine soaked bread, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and remaining broth in a blender. Blend for about 3  minutes until velvety smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until well chilled.
Just before serving, test the soup for salt. Thin it out with a little broth, water, or tomato water if desired. Ladle into small bowls, garnishwith chopped eggs, prosciutto, OR CEVICHE!

Blood Orange juice is a good alternative to lemon juice


Blood oranges can remain quite acid, even after months on the tree. I squeeze the juice, and boil it down with enough sugar to make syrup. Drop a little into a glass of champagne.

The same goes for Passion Fruit juice. In Guadeloupe and Martinique, passion fruit is called MARACUDJA, and the juice is used instead of lemon juice to marinate fish. Hawaii know passion as LILIKOI. I freeze it in ice cube trays and use it as required. 

Gertrude Stein has always fascinated me, as has her famed art collection in her apartment of the Rue de Fleurus in Paris.
A rose is a rose is a rose,” she wrote. The Curious Home of Food Writer and Dilettante, Gary Allen, a most original site at http://justserved.onthetable.us/ list another of Gertrude’s quotes:  “A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing but vegetables.” Soooo Gertrude!!!

A novel take on salmon:
Our friend and accomplished barbecue chef Ron Baker treated us to Coulibiac of Salmon, en français Koulibiac de Saumon or Saumon en Koulibiac. The salmon for Ron’s eye-popping rendition is imported and filleted on arrival by the experts of https://harborpelican.com  at Oceanside Harbor. The professional fishermen specialize in locally-sourced fish. Fresh-caught salmon is the exception they imported from Norway. Ron butterflied and stuffed the salmon with rice, mushrooms and other mouth-watering ingredients, rolled it up and wrapped it in bacon. What’s not to like?

Ron, can we have a repeat???
New shows and events:
The California Center for the Arts has reopened with a new show called STREET LEGACY https://artcenter.org/event/street-legacy-socal-style-masters. The exhibit gathers art by renowned street artists from Southern California. I attended the opening and can tell you the art work once known as graffiti has come a very, very long way. Many artists attended the opening, and provided a spectacular fashion show as well. What creativity! What fun! And what artistry. I had no idea!
Make an appointment to view the galleries. Docents will return later in the year.http://artcenter.org



Slick and Bruce’s cars greet you at the entrance.


Marc Esquer is a well-known San Diego street artist whose artwork graces many a San Diego venue (and even Japan!) Escondido-based Zane Kingcade produces custom artwork, and sells art supplies on Grand Avenue in Escondido. The show features four of his creations.

A NEW OPERA OPENS IN ESCONDIDO:
I attended a chat with the producers, directors, and some of the artists for WITNESSES. The artists come from L.A, New York, and right here in Escondido. What a gifted bunch. This is the reason the opera is called WITNESSES: https://artcenter.org/education/ccae-conservatory/witnesses/

5 TEENAGERS. 5 DIARIES.

5 SONGWRITING TEAMS THAT BRING THEIR VOICES TO LIFE.

From the diaries of Éva Heymann, Dawid Rubinowicz, Moshe Flinker, Renia Spiegel and Yitskhok Rudashevski – each diary revealing one voice – one teenager coping with the impossible reality of the Holocaust. But in the words they left us, they reveal one insurmountable truth: You may be able to kill us, but you can never destroy our spirit. These five stark accounts, set against a haunting, beautifully constructed song cycle, are a testament and an inspiration to the best of the human soul.

Practice your French:
Ready for more IDIOTISMES GASTRONOMIQUES?

More gastro news from France: Où sont passés les grands chefs de France?
https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20220614-the-exodus-of-paris-chefs-to-the-countryside

New Asian market in Vista. It opened a few months ago at 1215 S. Santa Fe avenue. Here, you will find most of the items you need for your Asian-inspired meals, from rice noodles, to sambals and Asian vegetables. Friendly owner Thavy is from Cambodia and owns the market with his wife Julie Thach.

Au-revoir to:
A Biblical Feast, now officially out of print
and to
Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from My Moroccan Kitchen.  I love this cookbook. I have to let it go after 22 years and ten printings. Wish I could find a publisher to have it reprinted!!

BONJOUR TO:
BITTER SWEET: A WARTIME JOURNAL AND HEIRLOOM RECIPES FROM OCCUPIED FRANCE
Not quite ready for prime time yet, but coming soon!  Stay tuned.

KITTY is selling:
Please drop me a note if you would like pictures of Moroccan items I am selling: cookware, wood, lamps, lithographs, vintage Berber jewelry, antique rugs and textiles. Better yet, if you live close by: make an appointment to come by and see. Drop me a line.

May COVID remain in your rear view mirror.
Bismillah
and
Bon Appétit
I LOVE FEEDBACK!

Edible Flowers in the San Diego Union Tribune Food Section

In the San Diego Union Tribune

Dec. 16, 2015

Lavender Shortbread cookies

View the recipe and a mouth watering photo here:

Shortbread blossoms with lavender

or

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/dec/15/shortbread-blossoms-with-lavender/

Happy New Year!

Merry Xmas

and

a Happy New Year

A traditional French salad for New Year’s Eve

A menu for a “réveillon” celebration (whether Christmas or New Year’s Eve) almost always includes Belgian endives on French tables. This is how we used to greet the nouvel an, new year, in Casablanca:

 

 excerpted from

Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories

    . . . “As a family, we spent many a New Year’s Day at (Madame Simone’s) seamlessly orchestrated dinner parties. She was far and away the most impeccable hostess within my parents’ circle of friends. Madame Simone left no detail to chance when she entertained. That made more humiliating an incident when my slightly tipsy father shattered a few crystals in a chandelier with an errant cork he launched from a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

    The food was always trois étoiles, three star, at Madame Simone’s, even to my then unsophisticated palate. But what I marveled at most was the artistry with which she blindly applied her carmine lipstick. I had plenty of opportunity to study her meticulous technique as she recoated her lips with rouge à lèvres almost as often as we changed plates during the multi-course banquet. While the adults sipped champagne and debated political issues around the starched-linen tablecloth laid with monogrammed cutlery, antique candelabras, and sparkling crystal de Bohème, my brother and I diverted ourselves with the fun-house reflections our faces made in our hostess’s polished silver goblets.

     Cheeks flushed from a fingerbreadth ration of chilled Vouvray wine, we savored plump oysters abducted from their beds in the Oualidia lagoon four hours south of town. Like seasoned gastronomes, we devoured dinde aux marrons, roast turkey with chestnuts, and made piglets of ourselves with the perfectly ripened fromages, cheeses, and salade d’endives aux noix, Belgian endives with walnuts . . .”

Salade d’Endives aux Noix

(Belgian Endive Salad with Walnuts)

Serves 4

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons walnut oil

¼ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons minced tarragon leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried, crushed

4 Belgian endives

¼ cup walnut pieces, toasted

¼ cup crumbled Blue cheese or Roquefort

½ cup bacon bits

            Whisk mustard with vinegar until smooth. Continue to whisk while adding oil in a stream, until sauce emulsifies. Stir in salt, pepper, and tarragon. Set aside. 

            Wipe endives with a damp paper towel. Trim and discard ¼ inch from stumps. Cut 1½ inches from tips and set aside.

             Cut what remains of endives into ½-inch-wide slices. Arrange in the center of a serving platter and surround with separated leaves from the tips. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted walnuts, Roquefort, and bacon bits.

from Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories. Copyright Kitty Morse 2012. All rights reserved.

Bon Appetit!

Ever tasted edible flowers? Now is the time!

PS: Fast forward to January 2014:

A local publisher would like to republish my sweet book on Edible Flowers.I am thrilled. Yes, I did go out this morning and picked the last of my orange blossoms. About 3 cups of petals remained, just enough to make about 1/2 cup of exquisite jam. Stay tuned!

          Grazing around my Garden

Abundant winter rains did much to send my orange, lemon, and blood orange trees into a “bloomin’ ” frenzy. Let’s hope this is an indication of next year’s harvest.

I was tempted to pick the seven pounds of fresh orange blossoms necessary to concoct the exquisitely scented orange blossom jam that Morocco’s Sephardic cooks prepare in time for La Mimouna, the celebration held on the last evening of Passover. (The recipe appears in The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco, now out of print.) I decided against making jam when I realized that my refrigerator already holds two dozen jars of blood orange jelly.

So I’ll just inhale the citrus blossoms’ aroma and wait for the next batch of fruit.

At the same time, a sunny patch of backyard is slowly being colonized by Society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea). Unlike orange blossoms, theirs isn’t a scent that intoxicates. Rather, the star shaped flower smells and tastes like fresh garlic. I love to toss a few mauve blossoms in a salad, or sprinkle them over a bowl of soup.

Soc Garlic 1My rosemary bush is also coming out of the winter doldrums. I have been known to hug my rosemary just for the pleasure of it! And I encourage our dog to look for lizards among its lower limbs, so I can run my hand through her rosemary-scented coat! Rosemary’s blossoms (Rosmarinus officinalis) are delightful edibles: The sky-blue blossoms have a more delicate flavor than the plant’s slender leaves.

 

 

 

Just budding is my Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla syn. Lippia citriodora), for making my favorite herb tea. An infusion of luisa, as lemon verbena is called in Arabic, is said to act as a soporific if taken before bedtime.

Blossoms of calendula, cilantro, and lavender will hold me over until summer, when I can graze on plethora of edible flowers, from basil and arugula, to roses, begonias, and borage.

If you happen to frequent the farmer’s market in Vista (CA) on Saturday mornings, stop by my friend Suilin Robinson’s stand, a lovely and knowledgeable grower who grows a variety of edible flowers.

Here is recipe to get you started on cooking with edible flowers. A list of common edible flowers follows the recipe.

 Garden Salad with Warm Goat Cheese and Society Garlic Flowers

(courtesy of Andrea Peterson of Peterson Specialty Produce)

 

 

 

serves 4

 

 

 

4 cups baby greens, washed and dried

 

 

1/2 cup olive oil

 

 

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

 

 

1 tablespoon water

 

 

2 teaspoons sugar

 

 

Salt and pepper to taste

 

 

1 cup mixed flowers:  calendula petals, or viola, borage, chive, or arugula blossoms

 

 

1/2 cup chopped prunes

 

 

1/2 cup pine nuts

 

 

1  8-ounce log goat cheese

 

 

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

 

 

1/4 cup Society Garlic flowers

 

 

           

 

 

                        In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, water, sugar, salt, and pepper. 

 

 

            Combine baby greens and edible flowers in a large bowl. Toss greens lightly with dressing.  Mound equal amounts on four salad plates.  Top with prunes and pine nuts.  Refrigerate.

 

 

            Preheat oven to 450°F.  Slice goat cheese into 4 equal parts.  Lightly brush each slice on both sides with olive oil and dredge with breadcrumbs.  Place on a non-stick baking sheet, and bake 5 minutes, until just softened.  While still warm, place cheese on the prepared greens and garnish with garlic flowers.

 

 

From Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion by Kitty Morse. (Ten Speed Press, 1994)

 

 

NOTE: MY BOOK IS OUT OF PRINT, THOUGH

 

 

I HAVE A HANDFUL IN MY POSSESSION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ORDER A SIGNED COPY for Easter or for Mother’s Day, SEND ME AN E-MAIL at kitty@kittymorse.com

 

 

Only edible flowers grown without pesticides are suitable for eating, and even then, should only be consumed in moderate amounts. When in doubt, consult a horticultural specialist, a specialized nursery or an encyclopedia of edible plants.  

 

 

            Arugula  (Eruca sativa.)  Also roquette or rocket.  Add mustardy tasting leaf to salad mixes. Use milder-flavored blossoms as garnish.

 

 

            Basil (Ocimum basilicum):  Exists in dozens of varieties.  Sprinkle blend with soups, egg dishes or pasta.

 

 

            Begonia (Begonia cultivars):  Delicate crunchy petals have pronounced citrusy flavor.  Use as garnish, in tea sandwiches, or in salad mix.

 

 

             Borage (Borago officinalis):  Blossoms have cool, cucumber taste.  Candy or use as garnish. 

 

 

            Calendula (Calendula officinalis) a.k.a. pot marigold, known for centuries for its medicinal properties. Petals add a yellow tint to soups, spreads or scrambled eggs.

 

 

            Carnation: (Dianthus caryophyllus). Steep in wine, candy, or use as cake decoration.  Remove petals from calyx and snip off bitter white base before using. 

 

 

            Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Member of Daisy family, good raw or steamed. Also distilled into wine.

 

 

            A favorite of mine! Day-lily (Hemerocallis).  Raw petals have distinct crispiness.  Pickle or stir-fry fresh buds.  In China, dried buds called “golden needles” are used to flavor soups and stews.

 

 

            Dianthus:  Miniature member of carnation family with light nutmeg scent.  Petals add color to salads or aspics.

 

 

            Dill (Anethum graveolens.) Use herb and fresh blossoms to season hot or cold soups, seafood, dressings or dips.  Seeds reserved mainly for pickling or baking.

 

 

            Lavender, English (Lavandula officinalis.)  Picked at their prime and stripped from stems, diminutive blooms add a mysterious scent to custards, flans, or sorbets.  Dried lavender blossoms enter into perfumes and pot pourris.

 

 

            Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus):  From brilliant yellow to orange in color, nasturtiums rank among most common edible flowers. Leaves add peppery tang to salads, and pickled seed pods are less expensvive substitute for capers.

 

 

            Rose (Rosa species):  Petals used in syrups and jellies, perfumed butters and sweet spreads.  Candy miniature roses whole, or use to decorate elegant  desserts. Large petals often candied individually.

 

 

            Rosemary (Rosmarnus officinalis):  Fresh or dried herb and blossoms enhance flavor of Mediterranean dishes.  Use with meats, seafoods, sorbets or dressings.

 

 

             Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) also called Mexican saffron:  Dried flowers often passed off as “real” Spanish saffron (but lack characteristic saffron aroma.) Used as a natural dye and food coloring, and to make cooking oil.

 

 

            Zucchini (Cucurbitaceae):  Individual flowers stuffed or deep-fried.  Left whole, blossoms are lovely additions to frittatas or quiches.

 

 

             

 

 

ENJOY!

 

 

Suilin Robinson and her husband Whitney, owners of Whole Earth Acre Nursery in Vista, CA, are experts in edible flowers. E-mail Lothse@att.net if you have questions.

A Biblical Feast for Easter or Passover

       My new book is finding a niche in a number of stores from Southern California, to Wisconsin, Illinois, New York City, and even, south of the border.  For that, I am most grateful You can, of course, always order it on this site, and now, on Amazon.com as well.

       With Easter and Passover fast approaching, a biblical menu seems in order. One of the biblical ingredients I love to eat, is leeks. Especially the pencil thin "poireau" that I sometime purchase at our local farmer’s market, or more often, when I am in Morocco.

     The large leeks we find in US are ideally suited for making soup (green fronds included, though discarded before serving), or to make leek quiche (if you slice them finely enough), but nothing beats the slender leeks for the following dish. You can follow the leeks with Dukkah (sesame/nigella/cumin sprinkle),with bread and olive oil, for dipping; Roasted Lamb with Cumin; flat bread; and for dessert, Dates Stuffed with Almond Paste, or Sephardic style Harosset, made with dates.

 from A Biblical Feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table. 

Leeks with Olive Oil, Vinegar
& Mustard Seed

(Serves 4)

It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took,
and cast into his garden;
and it grew, and waxed a great tree;
and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
Luke 13:19

 

 

Photography Owen Morse c. 2009



4 or 5 slender leeks

(the slenderest you can find)

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, toasted

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3 sprigs parsley, minced

     Trim leeks and rinse under running water. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Cook leeks until very soft, 10-15 minutes. Drain and place in a serving dish. Using a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder, finely grind mustard seeds. In a small bowl, blend vinegar and mustard seeds. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon dressing over leeks and garnish with parsley.

 

Enjoy!