Thursday, November 15, 2012

Moroccan Lentil Stew over Couscous - Farewell to PPN

If you scan my labels on my blog, you'll notice that Moroccan dishes are up there with my other favorite types of cuisine - Asian, Mexican - only beat by Italian (kind of hard to compete with that!) When Joanne of Eats Well With Others posted her version of a Moroccan Lentil Stew I knew that my version would soon follow.

A huge fan of Harissa, Preserved Lemons, and Pomegranate Molasses, all of those fun DIY Pantry ingredients found their way into my version. I served this over couscous, naturally, and perfectly it fit as my final offering and tribute to Presto Pasta Nights.

Presto Pasta Nights was my introduction to blog events and the one that has most enriched my life. Not only did I host it six times but many of the bloggers that I met through PPN are now my favorites as well as being part of my virtual blogging community. I can't remember how I first came across PPN but my blog and my food repertoire has grown so much because of the following blogs:

Once Upon a Feast
Chaya's Comfy Cook now Bizzy Bakes
Chez Cayenne
Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice
Closet Cooking
Cook Almost Anything
Eats Well With Others
Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine
Honey From Rock
More Than Burnt Toast
Sidewalk Shoes
Thyme for Cooking

Thank you to everyone for sharing your passion, food and energy with us all, how lucky we are! And thanks most of all to Ruth of Once Upon A Feast. Here's to so much more great food to come!

Moroccan Lentil Stew
(makes 4 cups)

1 cup lentils
5 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery, diced
1 large bay leaf
1 tablespoon Pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon harissa
1/2 preserved lemon, pulp removed, rinsed with water, and diced
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
3 allspice berries
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 inch piece cinnamon or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups couscous
3 cups boiling water
few sprigs of cilantro for garnish

Crush coriander, cumin, cinnamon and allspice in mortar and pestle. In large sauce pan heat olive oil and saute onion until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add celery and carrot and cook another 4 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add lentils, bay leaf, salt, and 5 cups of water and bring to boil. Cook 15 minutes until lentils are almost tender. Add pomegranate molasses, preserved lemon and harissa and cook another 5 minutes. While stew cooks last few minutes, bring 3 cups of water to boil and pour over couscous and cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve stew with couscous and cilantro; pass more harissa at the table.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls at Smitten Kitchen
Tempeh Tikka Masala at Vegan Richa
Paprika and Red Pepper Soup with Pistachio Puree at Flavors of the Sun

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