Thursday, 23 August 2012


From Tuscany, Phaidon Press, 2011.

This was the easiest dish to make. It was simply a matter of mixing up one cup of water with ¾ cup of chickpea flour (besan). About a tablespoon of olive oil was added together with a liberal amount of pepper and salt.

This mixture was poured into a greased dish to cook in a hot over for about half an hour until it was cooked and had turned a bice brown colour. It was required to be no more than 1 cm thick in the dish and it turned out to be a flat chickpea cake that could be cut into slices and served between slices of bread. We had it is Lebanese bread.

Apparently this is a street food around the Livorno district in Italy. I rather liked it though my partner did not and ended up not finishing it. I ate the remainder of it myself the following couple of days. It worked well, for me, as a snack when the hungers got hold of me.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔✔

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Spicy Chickpea and Vegetable Casserole

From Commonsense Vegetarian, Murdoch Books, 2011.

To make this casserole, I should have soaked the chickpeas overnight but forgot to do so. However, it was easy enough to do a quick soak by putting them in a saucepan with plenty of water, bringing it to the boil and them letting them soak for a couple of hours. That worked well.

To begin the casserole, I sautéed a chopped onion and garlic glove in some olive oil for a few minutes. Then I added ground cumin (about 3 teaspoons), half a teaspoon of chipotle chilli powder, and half a teaspoon of allspice. These were stirred into the onion for another minute, when the chickpeas, drained, a can of chopped tomatoes and about two cups of stock were added. Once brought to the boil this was covered and left to cook for an hour.

A couple of cups of pumpkin pieces, three gold squash quartered and a good handful of green beans were added with a pinch of dried oregano and a tablespoon of tomato paste. These were left to cook for about 15 minutes more. By now the vegetables were done and the liquid had become a juicy sauce so I turned off the heat and left it covered for a few minutes more before serving.

This was a great cold weather dish. The chipotle chilli had imparted a smoky flavour that went well with the spicy sauce. And chickpeas are always a favourite. So far recipes from this particular cookery book have always turned out to be a success. They are easy to make and are well suited to family meals.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Monday, 20 August 2012

Kohlrabi Soup

From Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, Jane Grigson, Penguin, 1980.

Whenever I’m at a loss for what to do with some vegetables I turn to Jane Grigson. I had two kohlrabi on hand so it seemed that a soup would be the answer.

The two vegetables (about 500 g) were peeled, halved and sliced thinly. In a saucepan I heated two tablespoons of cooking oil to a reasonably high heat and then sprinkled in one tablespoon of sugar. I stirred this until the sugar had turned a light brown colour, then dropped in the kohlrabi pieces and stirred them until they were coated. The heat was turned down, the saucepan was lidded and the vegetables were cooked for about 15 minutes.

One tablespoon of flour was now sprinkled on and stirred into the vegetables. I added a couple of cups of water, half a stock cube and salt and pepper. This was brought to the boil and simmered for another 10 minutes. The mixture was now pureed with a stick blender, tasted for seasoning and it was ready. Chopped parsley was added before serving.

The soup turned out to be a little too sweet for my taste.  I had eaten the non-soup version of this as a vegetable side dish (Elisabeth Bond’s Kohlrabi) and it had worked quite well, but increased in liquid volume to make a soup it was not so successful.

Taste: ✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Beetroot Carpaccio with Goat’s Cheese and Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette

From New Vegetarian Kitchen, Nicola Graimes, Duncan Baird Publishers, 2011.

I had never tried eating beetroot raw so thought I would give it a go with this simple salad recipe.

The first task was to make the dressing. The juice of half an orange was mixed with a little balsamic vinegar, a quarter cup of olive oil and a pinch of salt. This was then beaten until it had thickened. It was then tasted and a few adjustments made until it was just right.

A beetroot was then peeled and sliced on a mandolin at the thinnest setting. The slices were placed in a bowl with water to just cover them and a squeeze of lemon juice was added. This was left until it was time to put the salad together.

At serving time the beetroot was drained. A mix of salad leaves was arranged on the plate. The beetroot was placed on this, alternating it with goat’s cheese. The dressing was poured over and it was ready.

I’m not convinced about raw beetroot. It was not unpleasant. It certainly went well with the goat’s cheese and the dressing had a nice tang to it. However, the full rich sweetness of cooked beetroot was missing—and it needed quite a bit of chewing.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

English Cheddar Cheese Soup with Brown Mustard and Ale

From Red Hot and Green, Janet Hazen, Chronicle Books, 1996.

This book concentrates on hot foods. It is divided into five sections according to the heating element: ginger, mustard, peppercorns, horseradish and chillies. It was time to have a go at a mustard-based recipe.

In a saucepan I melted two tablespoons of butter and then added an equal amount of flour. This was stirred until it was combined and then cooking continued to make sure the flour was cooked and a light brown colour. A half tablespoon of brown mustard seeds were added together with a teaspoon of caraway seeds and about three tablespoons of German mustard, which has a sweetness to it.

After a couple of minutes one cup of dark ale was stirred in, then three cups of water and a stock cube. A cup of milk was added to this and it was all brought to the boil and simmered for about half an hour.

The last stage was to add about 250 g of grated tasty cheddar cheese. This was stirred until it had all dissolved into the liquid. Now with a little seasoning it was ready to eat.

The soup was quite a tasty one and one that you did not need large portions to feel satisfied. I did not find it had a hotness to it, just a strong flavour, with the pleasing tang of the ale, that was enjoyable.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Mushroom Risotto with Garlic and Parsley

From The Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 1999.

To satisfy my latest push into making risotto I turned to a recipe of Jamie Oliver’s as a basis.

I cooked the mushrooms, buttons cut into quarters, first in a hot pan with olive oil and a little butter. When they had started to acquire a brown tinge I added chopped garlic cloves and a sprinkling of salt. When they seemed to be finally cooked I added chopped parsley, a pinch of chipotle chilli powder and a little lemon juice.

 Now it was time to cook the risotto. The usually pattern was followed. Stock was put on to simmer. A chopped onion was fried until soft in a little oil and butter. The rice was then added and stirred around until it was fully covered with the butter/oil mix.  About a quarter of a cup of white wine was now added and, when it was absorbed by the rice, the first ladle of stock was added.

While the risotto was now cooking half of the mushrooms were cut up to smaller pieces. These were added to the rice.

As each ladle of stock was absorbed another was added and this continued until the rice at ready. It was tasted for seasoning. Grated Parmesan cheese was added and stirred in. And finally the remaining mushrooms went into the mix. When it was served a round of truffle butter was added.

This was a very satisfying dish. You can’t really go far wrong with a risotto/mushroom combination.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Broccolini and Oyster Mushrooms in Ginger Broth with Pumpkin and Macadamia Dumplings

From Wild Garlic, Gooseberries . . . and me, Denis Cotter, Collins, 2007.

Reading Denis Cotter’s writing about vegetables can only inspire one to get going into making his dishes. This book is, for the most part, made up of musings, discussions and information about vegetables and Cotter’s love of them as growing plants and as subjects for eating. And so that his enthusiasm can get his readers to try the vegetables he has included four sections between the reading material of recipes, all of which sound, just from their titles, enough to get the salivary juices going.

For this first attempt of mine, I got the ginger broth going first. Into a pot of boiling water went cut up vegetables of various types: celery, carrot, onion, garlic, chilli and the main flavouring, fresh ginger. These simmered for about 20 minutes.

On top of the simmering pot I placed a steamer and cooked the pumpkin for the dumplings. When it was done it was mixed with some chopped macadamias, lemon zest and chopped coriander. Though it was not mentioned in the recipe, I seasoned this mix.

By now the broth had finished its time so it was turned off and soya sauce added. I tasted the broth and it had quite a heat to it and was strongly gingery. I was unsure at this stage, feeling that the ginger may be a bit too strong and overpower the rest of the dish.

Small quantities of the pumpkin mixture, when cool, were placed into the middle of wonton wrappers. It was shaped roughly rectangular and the wrapper folded over to wrap up the mixture. All was now ready for the final stage.

Broccolini and oyster mushrooms were now stir-fried for a few minutes and the broth put on to a simmer. When the vegetables were close to ready, the broth was brought to the boil and the dumplings dropped in for a couple of minutes to cook. At the same time some sliced spring onions were added to the vegetables.

The dumplings were taken from the stock and placed into serving plates. The vegetables were placed alongside and the broth poured over.

My concern over the strength of the ginger broth went when I tried the dish. It had somewhat diminished when eaten with the dumplings, though it was still a little strong. I had cut back the amount of ginger in the broth by about a third when I made it so feel it would have been far too strong if the full amount had been used. Despite my concern over the ginger the dish was a pleasant one. The elements all cohered to make a dish that was light and satisfying.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Hummus with Ful

From Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi, Ebury Press, 2010.

Before commencing this dish both chickpeas and dried broad beans had to be soaked overnight. The chickpeas had bicarbonate of soda added to their water.

The next day the chickpeas were drained and put in a saucepan with fresh water and another lot of bicarbonate of soda. They were then brought to the boil and simmered until soft. The recipe mentions 2-3 hours but mine seemed to be quite ready after a little more than an hour.

The broad beans also had to be cooked until soft. Before that I had to remove the hard skins as mine still had the skins on. They went in the saucepan and were simmered like the chickpeas and, like the chickpeas, did not require nearly the time mentioned to be done.

The chickpeas were drained and put in the food processor with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. The mixture was churned until a soft paste. A little of the cooking water had to be added to make it a soft paste. This was basically now ready.

The beans when soft were drained. They were soft enough to be beaten with a fork. They had olive oil, lemon juice, ground cumin, salt and a crush garlic clove added and were beaten again until they had become a soft mix.

The hummus (chickpea mix) was spread on a plate and the ful (broad bean mix) paced in the centre. Paprika was sprinkled over with some olive oil and lemon juice. We ate them with pitta bread, boiled eggs, tomatoes and red onion.

The hummus was great; the ful okay. All in all though this was a filling and satisfying meal. Sharing a plate and dipping pitta in to scoop up the tasty bits is always fun. I enjoyed the fact that the hummus was totally fresh and warm and made at home. Another success from Plenty.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

Parsnip, Sage and Mascarpone Risotto

From Vegetarian, Alice Hart, Murdoch Books, 2011.

Recently I have been going through a bit of a risotto binge so the techniques are familiar; it is just the variations that attract me now.

For this one I had made a stock the previous evening from vegetable peelings, corings and cast offs so that was ready to go. It was put on the stove at a very slow simmer.

Into a large frying pan went some butter, a chopped shallot, a grated parsnip and a couple of sage leaves finely sliced. These were sautéed for a few minutes before adding 125 g of Arborio rice. After stirring for about a minute to coat the rice with the buttery vegetable mix some white wine was poured in. Once this had been absorbed the ladling of the stock began, one ladle at a time until it was absorbed.

Once the rice was cooked to al dente it was turned off and a tablespoon of mascarpone was added with grated Parmesan cheese. The lid was placed on and it was left for a couple of minutes before serving with a little more mascarpone and Parmesan.

This was a wonderfully creamy risotto. The parsnip had disintegrated into the sauce and, with the mascarpone added, the result was a soft and creamy risotto with a hint of sweetness from the parsnip.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Friday, 10 August 2012

Tomato and Beetroot Pizza

From Elisa Celli’s Italian Light Cooking, Prentice Hall Press, 1987.

Elisa Celli has three different recipes for pizza bases and none of them has yeast. I was interested to try one to see how they would turn out.

For the one I made I used one cup of plain flour with one-half cup of corn meal. The recipe actually called for whole-wheat flour and plain flour. I had no whole-wheat flour so made the changes. Two tablespoons of butter were now mixed into the flour and rubbed until like breadcrumbs. Cold water was now added bit by bit until the dough held together. It was kneaded a little, then formed into a ball, covered in cling wrap and refrigerated for about half an hour.

The dough was now divided into two pieces and rolled out to form two pizza bases. They went into a hot oven for about 10 minutes. They then came out to have their toppings added.

I had some tomato sauce left from a previous cooking burst so spread this on the base and then added sliced tomatoes, sliced cooked beetroot, Kalamata olives, red onion, mozzarella and chopped basil. A sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper and a dribble of olive oil and it went back into the oven for a few minutes more and it was ready.

As a pizza base this one turned out to be rather like a type of biscuit. It worked well as a base and was easily made. When you make your own pizzas the toppings always turn out to be much richer, thicker and tastier than the ones you buy.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Mercimek çorbasi (Red Lentil Soup)

From Turkey: The Turkish Kitchen, Miller Books, 2008.

It’s freezing cold tonight so I headed for a lentil soup. They are always tasty and so comforting.

This one was begun by melting a tablespoon of butter in a pan, then adding an equal amount of flour. It was stirred until it began to colour slightly.

At this stage 150 g of red lentils were added with a chopped onion and a carrot cut into pieces. A tablespoon of tomato paste went in also. These were stirred for a minute or two.

Next into the pot went a litre of stock and two chopped garlic cloves with a little salt. The pot was brought to the boil and then simmered for about 20 minutes. With a stick blender the mixture was pureed.

At this stage it was a reasonable lentil soup. The next stage, however, worked magic and brought it to another level of flavour.

Two teaspoons of dried mint and one teaspoon of chilli flakes were added to a tablespoon of butter in a pan over quite high heat. The mixture soon bubbled and frothed. After a few seconds the soup was added to this and it was all stirred together. Now that the soup had the wonderful flavour of mint and the extra heat of chilli added to it it was a soup not to be missed.

I’ll certainly make this one again. Served with lemon slices to add more flavour, this had all the comfort I needed on this very cold night.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔✔

Caramel, Ginger and Apricot Sponge Pudding

From Quiet Food, The Buddhist Institute of South Africa, Double Storey, 2006.

I find recipes from this book rather annoying in their measurements. They use mls for non-liquid ingredients, although not always. In one recipe, for example, they use mls for butter and then g for butter. Nevertheless, once I got my guide for equivalence out it was not that bad.

Hot sweet desserts are just right for cold winter nights and this one looked as though it would fit the bill. Milk (250 ml) was combined with a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of apricot jam and heated so that the ingredients were all blended. It was then taken off the heat and left to cool.

An egg was beaten with three-quarters of a cup of sugar until it was fluffy. The recipe suggested beating over a bowl of hot water, but I found this awkward to achieve and abandoned the hot water. When the beating was done a tablespoon of white vinegar was stirred in.

I sifted a cup of flour with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda then added the milk mixture. When they were well mixed I folded in the egg mix. At this stage there was a choice of adding preserved ginger, dried apricots or glacé fruit. One didn’t seem enough for me so I added half a cup of chopped ginger and a cup of chopped apricots. This was all placed in a greased casserole and baked at 170°C for about an hour.

A sauce was made by boiling a cup of cream, half a cup of milk, half a cup of sugar and 50 g butter for about 5 minutes. When the cake came out of the oven it was pricked all over with a skewer and the sauce was poured on a little at a time until it was all absorbed.

This was called ‘Comforting Caramel’ in the recipe book and it certainly fitted that name. It was gooey and richly sweet with little bites of ginger and the chewier apricot pieces. The sponge was quite light in the upper half but tended to be heavy towards the bottom—possibly the result of me adding two instead of one of the extra ingredients.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Eggplant Patties

From Mezze to Milk Tart, Cecile Yazbek, Wakefield Press, 2011.

The vegetables for this recipe had to be shredded. The author suggests shredding rather than grating, and she explains shredding as putting them through a food processor. So in went an eggplant, an onion and a tomato. A selection of flavourings was now added to the mix: chopped mint, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice. To this lot went binding ingredients: olive oil, flour, baking powder and an egg. It was an easy mix to put together.

An oven tray was now prepared with a sheet of baking paper on it. The mixture was spooned on in patty-sized quantities and baked in a moderate oven for about 20-30 minutes.

I did not really enjoy these overmuch. The texture was a on the rubbery side. I think it would have been much better to have fried these in a pan rather than baking them in the oven. At least then they would have perhaps had the chance to develop a crisp crust which might have helped them.

Taste: ✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Creole Mushroom and Pepper Stew

From Fields of Greens, Annie Somerville, Bantam Books, 1993.

I have great faith in the dishes from the Greens Restaurant in San Francisco after having an exceptional meal there. So I always look forward to what turns up when I make something from this recipe book.

I began by roasting some tomatoes, four in all, in the oven at a 130°C temperature for two hours. They were cut in half and placed cut side down on some baking paper on an oven tray. While the instruction called for the seeds to be extracted from them I prefered to keep them whole.

The mushrooms, about 130 g, were quartered and cooked with a sprinkling of salt at a high heat until golden. Then a little wine was added with some chopped garlic. When the wine had almost evaporated the mushrooms were taken off the heat and put aside in a bowl.

Now a red onion was cut into pieces and sautéed in the pan with a sprinkling of salt. After they had softened, a red capsicum (pepper) and a green capsicum, deseeded and cut into triangles, were added to the pan. Also a fennel, quartered and sliced, went in the pan. A bay leaf was added and a jalapeño chilli finely chopped went in. These were all sautéed until they had softened somewhat. Next a zucchini, halved and cut into slices, was added for a few minutes. Now the tomatoes and the mushrooms went into the pan and were sautéed for about 20 minutes.

The recipe called for the lid to be left off but I was concerned that the dish would be very dry so cooked them covered so that the juices would not all evaporate.

All in all this was like a variation on ratatouille. The chillies added a nice bit of heat to the overall flavour that had a slight, rather pleasant bitterness about it from the capsicums. I am glad I left the lid on for the juices that resulted mixed well with the rice that I had with the dish.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Beetroot Soup

From Vegetarian Supercook, Rose Elliot, Hamlyn, 2004.

Beetroot is such a good vegetable to use. Whenever I have a batch of them I like to cook them all in one hit. I put them in the saucepan, fill it with water then bring it to the boil and simmer them for about 45 minutes. At this stage I turn off the heat and leave them in the water until it cools. That seems to work the trick quite well. I know that baking them will bring out the flavour a little more but it takes a bit more work to do it that way and boiling them does not lose a lot.

I had some cooked beetroot on hand when I came across Rose Elliot’s recipe for iced beetroot soup. I didn’t want iced but the recipe says that it works as well hot.

An onion was fried in olive oil until it was soft. A potato, peeled and cut into pieces, was now added to the saucepan. With the lid on, it was left for another few minutes to cook a little further.

I then added 4 medium sized beetroot, cut into pieces, and a little over a litre of stock and brought it to the boil. The rind of half a lemon was added and the mixture was left to simmer long enough for the potato to be well cooked.

The mixture was now pureed with a stick blender. A little lemon juice was added and the soup was seasoned. It was served with a little sour cream on top.

While Rose Elliot said that this recipe got her a marriage proposal I would suspect that there was a little more behind the proposal than just this soup. It was tasty with the sweetness of the beetroot heightened nicely from the sourness of the lemon juice.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Family dinner

The family were coming to dinner. This doesn’t happen often but it is always a pleasure when it does.

I needed to settle on a menu that would please all, be able to be got together without too much trouble and that suited the occasion with plenty to sample. I also decided to choose a menu from items on my blog site.

I decided to begin with a chickpea and leek soup (Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef) that is a favourite with us at home. In fact, of all the soups we eat, this one would be the one that we make most frequently. It’s easy to prepare, can be made a bit ahead of time and packs a heap of flavour to start people wanting more. With the soup we had an olive sourdough bread. Very tasty.

For mains I already had prepared the previous evening two individual casseroles of quick tomato macaroni cheese (Jamie’s Dinners). For the other dinner guests I prepared individual baked ricottas (Vegetarian, Alice Hart). I cooked these in the oven when the guests arrived while, at the same time, heating up the macaroni cheeses.

For vegetables I decided on broccolini with truffle butter, cherry tomatoes on the stem, green beans cooked in vodka (More from the Accidental Vegetarian, Simon Rimmer) and Pan Haggarty (The Accidental Vegetarian, Simon Rimmer). The green beans did not turn out extra special as I had anticipated that they would but the Pan Haggarty was particularly good—far better than the first time I had made it.

For the dessert course I thought I would make two so that guests could choose one or the other—and they all chose to have both. One was cold, a papaya, blood orange and strawberry salad (Salades, Damien Pignolet), and the other was hot, Mother’s Roly Poly (Mrs Harvey’s Sister-in-Law and other tasty dishes, Margaret Dunn). I guess you could consider the sweets a great success. There weren't even any photos taken as they all went down too quickly.

We had a great night. Everyone was in a really happy mood. The food all went down well. It always helps when there is choice (even if everyone takes both of the choices).

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Quick Tomato Macaroni Cheese

From Jamie’s Dinners, Jamie Oliver, Penguin Books, 2006.

I was having the family for dinner and some of the younger members are a little particular about what they eat. So I decided that perhaps a macaroni cheese might do the trick. I decided to try out this one by Jamie Oliver. It had tomatoes in it that I thought might not be quite right for those I was making it for so decided to cut back on that ingredient.

It was all very easy to make. The macaroni had to be put on to cook and while that was happening the sauce had to be made.

The sauce was made by adding the ingredients to the food processor and blending them until they were smooth. I only added two tomatoes rather than the quantity suggested, along with a garlic clove, some fresh basil, and a few chopped sun-dried tomatoes. I did not put in the anchovies. When it was blended I tasted it and added salt, quite necessary, and a couple of grindings of black pepper.

Next were added grated Parmesan cheese, fresh cream, a little red wine vinegar and a pinch of grated nutmeg. It was given another burst in the blender and it was ready.

The macaroni was now also ready so it was placed in a casserole and the sauce poured over it. I added a little of the cooking water as it seemed to need a little more liquid. Over the top of this went pieces of mozzarella, a little more Parmesan and breadcrumbs. A drizzle of olive oil went over the top and it went into the oven.

At the same time as I was making the casserole I put macaroni cheese into two individual casseroles for the family members coming the next day.

I was happy with this macaroni cheese. It was gooey, tasty and filling. Next time I make it I would like to try it with the full amount of tomatoes. As it was it had plenty of flavour but it could have done with more cheese in the sauce. This would have been made up for by the extra tomatoes that I didn’t include.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

Butternut Pumpkin Tagine with Buttered Chilli Couscous

From The Modern Vegetarian, Maria Elia, Kyle Cathie Ltd, 2009.

I always enjoy a good tagine. The hot spicy dishes go down well in cold weather. This one was quite a breeze to make.

An onion was sautéed with a pinch of salt until softened, then a couple of chopped garlic cloves were added together with ground cumin, ground ginger, paprika and crushed coriander seeds. These were sautéed until their fragrance filled the air. At this stage I added a can of tomatoes, a couple of red chillies split along their length, a pinch of saffron, a little honey and a cinnamon stick. About two cups of water were added and all was brought to the boil. Butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into pieces, was now added, the lid was put on and it was cooked for about half an hour.

It still appeared to be a little too watery at this stage so I took off the lid and let it cook a little longer. It was tasted for seasoning and adjustments were now made. Chopped coriander was added.

In the last few minutes of the tagine’s cooking the couscous was made ready. Couscous was placed in a bowl with some chopped green chilli, lemon zest and butter. Salt was added and boiling water was poured over. It was now covered and left to stand while I chopped up some dates and more coriander. At serving time it was fluffed up with a fork and the dates and coriander were added.

The tagine was served with flaked almonds on top.

As I expected when I began, this was a tagine that was full of spicy flavour with a hint of sweetness from the honey. The dates were a pleasant addition to the couscous.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔