Morrocan Nibbles For Drinks

I’m mad about these two nibbly treats, one salty/spicy, the other tangy/ warming. They’re reminiscent of Morocco which resonates so well with our tree-house style of living: an eclectic mix of boho, bush and beach.

They’re my new go-to distraction strategy for early arriving guests or to keep everyone occupied while you get the finishing touches to the rest of the meal. Perfect for the entertaining season. Easy to prepare before hand and it won’t ruin their appetite.

These recipes have been adapted from Ghillie Basan’s book Vegetarian Tagines and Couscous

Lime and Coriander Dried Fruit and Nut Nibble

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil plus 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 3 tablespoon raw cashews (halves)
  • 120 gms of naturally dried apricots cut into strips
  • 120 gms soft pitted dates halves and cut into strips
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped dried chili
  • grated zest of lime
  • a small bunch of coriander

The only bit of prep for this is to remove the skins from the almonds. I know you can buy them already blanched but the taste is not the same. Its really is worth the effort.

Put the almonds in a bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover them. Leave them to steep for 5-10 minutes, then drain. pick them up in your hands and rub them together and the skins will loosen and fall off. They may even nicely break into halves. If not then halve them.

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Head the olive oil and butter in a wide heavy based pan, stir in the nuts and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the strips of apricots and dates and toss the mixture around the pan until the nuts begin to colour.

Stir in the chili and the lime zest and cook for a further 1-2 minutes then toss in the coriander.

Tip into a serving bowl while still warm and toss in some salt.

Smashed Green olives with Cardamon and Harissa

MOR NIB-8

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 4-6 black peppercorns2-3 tablespoons olive poil
  • freshly squeezed juice 1/s lemon
  • a small bunch of coriander
  • 1-2 teaspoon harissa
  • 350 gms green olives rinsed, drained and cracked (I just pushed a wide bladed knife down into them till they cracked open a bit)

Dry roast (this means don’t add any oil, just put them straight into the pan) the cumin, coriander and cardamom with the black peppercorns in a a skillet until they start to smell a bit nutty. Crab a pestle and mortar the olive oil and lemon juice and them add the harissa.

Put the olives into a serving boil and spoon the spice mixture over them. Toss the around til they are all coated and leave them sit for 30 minutes or so. These will keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks .. if the last that long

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