April 6, 2013

Last weekend I threw a dinner party at my apartment for six of my lovely friends. Work has become increasingly busy as we head into wedding & events season (I’ll be helping seven awesome couples get married and four teens get bar/bat mitzvahed over the next three months), so I wanted to get people together for one last hurrah until I have more free time again in July. I made a giant feast of Mediterranean & Middle Eastern inspired meze.

On my search for ingredients, I visited Kalustyan’s in Flatiron. The store is incredible and full of any sort of specialty item you could imagine and I’m in love.

This cous cous dish is a nice balance of savory and sweet and can be tossed together as a nice side, or served layered like I did.


– 2 cups cooked Moroccan Cous Cous (follow instructions on the box or bag. Use olive oil instead of butter if vegan)
– 1 large Red Pepper
– 1/2 cup Dried Apricot
– 1/8 cup Moroccan Olives
– 1/8 cup Pine Nuts
– Cilantro (optional)
– 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt to taste


Prepare cous cous as you’re prepping the other ingredients (should take about 10 minutes max. Preheat oven to 350. Toast pine nuts on a baking pan until they start to brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Remove top and seeds from the red pepper and cut into large pieces. Toss with olive oil and season with salt. Grill on a stovetop grill until soft and starting to blacken, grilling both sides of the pepper. Remove from heat, chop into small pieces and put into a small bowl. Chop olives (removing pits) and toss with the red pepper. Chop up dried apricots into small pieces. If using cilantro, chop into small pieces. In a bowl toss cous cous with apricots, pine nuts and cilantro. Season with salt. Spoon cous cous onto plate or into a bowl and top with red pepper and olives. You can toss everything together if you’d prefer. Serve warm.

December 1, 2011

Moroccan-Spiced Chickpea & Kale Stew1 can Chickpeas (unsalted)3 Tomatoes (medium sized)1/2 Onion (chopped)1 handful of Kale (washed with thick stems removed)2 cloves of Garlic, minced1 generous tbsp Cumin1 tsp Cinnamon 1 tsp ground Coriander 1/4 tsp ground Cloves2 tbsp extra virgin Olive Oil 
Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pan. Add tomatoes to boiling water and let sit until skins break. Drain tomatoes in a colander and run cold water over them. In a saute pan, saute onion in olive oil and a bit of salt until starting to tender. Add garlic and continue to saute. Add chickpeas (with liquid) and simmer on low. Remove skins from tomatoes (they should come off easily) and roughly chop. Add to pan. Add spices and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer until chickpeas are soft and liquid has reduced some. Rip up handful of kale and toss into stew. Cover again and let simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately. 
If you ever see me daydreaming on the subway, it’s cause I’m thinking about something like this. Hello winter.