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
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)
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.
Adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian by Kitty Morse
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 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
BETTER THAN BOUILLON mix!
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.