Tag Archives: cilantro

The Kasbah Chronicles: October November 2020

These seals at Oceanside Harbor have the right idea: Wake me up when COVID is over…


The Kasbah Chronicles

Les Chroniques de la Kasbah

In English and en français


Notes on my next cookbook

A new twist on a Moroccan classic

Links of interest

News of Morocco and beyond

Improve your spoken French!

Moroccan items for sale


In this, the ninth month of the COVID pandemic, I am at a loss for words. I cannot complain, since our Vista Kasbah is the best place for me to be sequestered—but boy, am I getting itchy feet. Yet, the idea of getting on an airplane still does not appeal to me.

Actually, the pandemic has served an exciting purpose: I have been hard at work on my next book, Bitter Sweet: legacy from my Alsatian ancestors (working title). Beautiful food photography included too!

I received an email blast from the High Atlas Foundation, a most worthy NGO in Morocco :

https://mailchi.mp/highatlasfoundation/article-reviving-a-monastery-for-community-development?e=4GUbJ49kBE. Unpublished article on Tioumliline by Lamia Radi, Rabat, Morocco.

Toumliline remains a magical name in my mind. Toum as we all called it, was a refuge for Catholic nuns in the Middle Atlas Mountains. It was a popular destination and Catholic retreat for many of my Catholic friends, especially at Easter:

“On part a Toum….” they would announce… each year.

Those among you who accompanied me to Morocco will remember the longest day of the trip as we crossed the Atlas Mountains from Fez to the oasis of Tinehrir. Half way up, Tioum hides among the forest of cedar trees not far from the snow slopes of the Mishliffen. Macaques on the way to Toum…

The very first avocado from our very own tree..


Let’s head to the kitchen

 new twist on egg tagine with lox

Morocco meets Brooklyn

(variations in Cooking at the Kasbah, The Vegetarian Table: North Africa and Mint Tea and Minarets.)

do you get the idea I love this egg dish?!!

Egg Tagine with Olives and lox

Serves 4

Make the tomato chermoula sauce ahead of time:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, very finely diced

1 (14¼-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

½ teaspoon sugar (optional)

10 green or purple olives, rinsed, pitted, and coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

¼ cup minced cilantro

In a tagine or medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar, olives, garlic, and bay leaf. Mash lightly with a fork. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tomatoes thicken somewhat, 15 to 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Add cilantro.

Adapted from Mint Tea and  Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories.

For ONE person:

One egg, beaten

1 or 2 slices of lox, diced

Pour the egg in a small oiled skillet. Swirl around as for an omelet. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with 2 tablespoons of the chermoula, and diced salmon.

Copyright Kitty Morse 2020

More: The French are crazy about “crumbles” savory or sweet. Who knew that “crumbles” (and biscuits d’Halloween) would make such an impact?

Crumble de courgettes  au Parmesan

Serves 4

  • 4 T olive oil
  • 4 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced very thin
  • 4 T flour
  • 2 T bread crumbs (or almond meal)
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 4 T butter, softened
  • 4 slices of ham or prosciutto (optional), cut into ribbons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring the oil to medium heat in a pan or skillet. Saute the zucchini slices until soft. Drain and set aside.

For the crumble, combine the flour, bread crumbs, parmesan, and salt. Add the softened butter and mix with your fingertips. Alternate layers of zucchini, and ham (if using) in a medium baking dish. Top with the crumble mixture and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

My friend Stephenie Coug

hlin, owner of Seabreeze Farm in Del Mar (CA) a mere 2 or 3 miles from the ocean, grows and delivers her own GORGEOUS produce. Heck her out!


News of Morocco, France, and beyond:

Casablanca is undergoing a renewal, and hopefully a getting a good coat of paint. We lived on Avenue Hassan II, across from the park, one the city’s main arteries. This is what our building looked like in the earl 1920s…a beautiful Moorish art deco structure. it needs a new coat of paint in this century. Local casablancais have finally realized what an architectural treasure they have in downtown Casablanca..

https://aujourdhui.ma/culture/un-programme-de-mise-a-niveau-du-centre-ville-historique-de-casablanca-voit-le-jourIl+s’articule+autour+de+quatre+projets+Dans+le+cadre+du+plan+de+sauvegarde+et+de+valorisation+du+patrimoine+de+Casablanca,+la+Société+de+développement+local+Cas :


Bellows, camel leather, copper and wood. ABout 48 years old.. Works fine.


All these will appear on my dedicated page.

These lithographs were produced by he same printer who printed my first book, Come with me to the Kasbah. Printer and publishing house are long gone

I am asking USD70 a piece. Shipped in a tube. About 23.5 by 15. 5 inches.



edible jacket 96pp.indd

Click on the Book Cover on my Home Page to Pay via Paypal

Hardcover: 96 pages

Publisher: Chefs Press; Second edition (November 1, 2015)

ISBN-10: 1939664020 ISBN-13: 978-1939664020

Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

Alternatives methods of shipping until December 19th, 2015, in time for Xmas

For a signed copy of Edible Flowers, please send a check in the amount of

Total including tax and postage via media mail in the US: $20.00

Make check out to: Kitty Morse,

Address: La Caravane Publishing, PO Box 433, Vista, CA 92085

Email me at info@mintteaandminarets.com


Pay via Paypal through my website, www.kittymorse.com. Just click on the book cover.

Tell me who to sign the book to.

I ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS BY PHONE, thanks to the magic of my iPhone and my SQUARE. Send me a message, I’ll send you my phone number and we can go from there.

Better yet, come and pick yours up if you are near Vista, CA.

I am always happy to ship signed copies and I can bundle books together.

Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories: $30 includes tax and postage via media mail in the US

A Biblical Feast: $20 includes tax and postage via media mail in the US.



Edible Flowers




Edible Flowers is currently on these, and many other shelves:

Farenheit 451, Carlsbad, CA

Myrtle Creek Nursery, Fallbrook, CA

Barrels and Branches Nursery, Solana Beach, CA

A Day in the Life, Oceanside, CA (quirky store on the Coast Highway next to the treasure-filled Estate Sale Warehouse)

Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, CA

Solo on Cedros, Solana Beach, CA

The Spice Way, Encinitas, CA

The (world-famous) Golden Door Spa, Escondido, CA

Old Town Temecula Tea and Spice, Temecula, CA

Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside, CA

Summers Past Farms, El Cajon, CA

The World’s Fare, Vista, CA

Books Inc, Palo Alto, CA

Mission San Antonio de Padua, Jolón, CA

Mission Santa Barbara, CA

Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA

Tecolote Books, Santa Barbara, CA

Small World Books, Venice Beach, CA

Marina del Rey Garden Center, Marina del Rey, CA

Boswell’s Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Book Tavern, Augusta, Georgia

Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N. Carolina

Kitchen Arts and Letters, New York City

Moravian Bookshop, Bethlehem, PA

The Twig, San Antonio, TX

. . . more stores and nurseries in the pipeline!

 The book is also available on Amazon.com. OR you can order a signed copy by sending me an email. Total cost is $20.00 including tax (in CA) and postage in the US ONLY. info@mintteaandminarets.com.


Happy 100th Julia Child!

Happy 100th Birthday Julia Child!

 This month, the culinary world is celebrating what would have been Julia’s 100th birthday. The occasion calls for sharing my own “Julia” memories.

 As a novice food writer, I pitched a story on Julia to a local magazine a few months ahead of the culinary icon’s visit to San Diego. The go-ahead for a proposed phone interview with Julia sent my heart racing. I held my breath and called her home in Cambridge (MA), and left a message on her answering machine. Our phone rang the next morning while I was under the shower. My husband had no idea of my assignment when he picked up the receiver. He barged into the bathroom with a wild eyed look on his face. “Are YOU expecting a call from Julia Child?” he asked. YES!

A few years later, I was invited to cook alongside Julia for a benefit. The event took place in a private home in Santa Barbara (see picture below.) My menu included bestila. Julia, ever her considerate self, watched attentively as I assembled Morocco’s my phyllo “pie” filled with sweet shredded chicken, and redolent of saffron, cinnamon, and of course, bountiful handfuls of chopped cilantro (fresh coriander.) Julia stood beside me answering questions from participants about her life and career. Only weeks later did I learn she HATED cilantro! She never let on! Here again, she won over my husband. “Julia made it a point to come into the kitchen to thank me for doing the dishes,” he told me, starry eyed.

This is the other dish I cooked alongside Julia:

Tagine of Cornish Hens with Preserved Lemons and Olives

Serves 4


Salt and pepper

2 medium Cornish hens, rinsed and patted dry

Pulp of 1 preserved lemon

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 onion, finely diced

1 cup chicken broth

8 threads Spanish saffron, toasted and crushed with a little salt

10 fresh cilantro sprigs, tied with cotton string

20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, tied with cotton string

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons preserved lemon pulp

1 cup green, pitted (optional) green or purple olives in brine, drained, and rinsed under running water

Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Crusty bread, for serving


         Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Salt and pepper the cavity of the hens. Rub the outside with the lemon pulp. Set aside.

         In a medium enameled casserole, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, paprika, ginger, pepper, and cook, stirring until the mixture foams, 1 to 2 minutes. (Do not overcook, or the spices will turn bitter.) Add the hens, and stir to coat. Add the onion, broth, saffron, cilantro, and parsley. Cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Bake until the juices run clear and the hens are tender, 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees F. With a slotted spoon, transfer the hens to an oven proof dish to keep warm. Leave the sauce in the pan. Discard the parsley and cilantro. 

         Bring the sauce to a simmer on top of the stove. Reduce it by 1/4. Add the lemon juice, lemon rind, and olives. Stir gently until heated through. Set the hens in the center of a serving platter. Spoon the sauce over the dish. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with crusty bread.


copyright Kitty Morse 2012. www.kittymorse.com

 Julia, we miss you! Your spirit (and your recipes) lives on! View more photos of Julia on http://pinterest.com/pin/168462842282204227/

Watch me on YOU TUBE: Share with friends! Leave a comment!

Watch me make Moroccan preserved lemons

 Cooking at the KasbahPreserved Lemons YouTube



A la prochaine!


Garbanzo Bean and Squash Soup

Serves 4

This nutritious soup is full of healthful ingredients.  Cooks in Morocco can purchase soaked  beans at the market or from street vendors, then must cook the beans before using them. You can do the same if you purchase dry beans. I opt for the convenience of organic, canned garbanzos. Any winter squash, or yellow fleshed squash will do.

1 pound Mediterranean, butternut, or acorn squash, or sugar pumpkin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cups vegetable broth
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans,  drained and  liquid reserved
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Cilantro leaves (also called Chinese parsley or fresh coriander), for serving

Heat oven to 375 F. Place squash in oven-proof dish and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool, then peel and seed squash, and scoop pulp from the shell in small chunks. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool.

In a blender or food processor, puree in batches, the squash, onion, broth, reserved liquid from garbanzo beans, and half of garbanzo beans. Return puree to pan. Stir in tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Add cayenne, if using. Heat through and add remaining garbanzo beans. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

From The Vegetarian Table: North Africa. Updated and copyrighted Kitty Morse 2008