Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Taste of North Africa

Last Saturday, knowing that Mr Minx and I were going to dinner at a Moroccan restaurant later in the week, I decided to set our tastebuds going in that direction by making a North African-inspired meal of homemade merguez sausage and various cold salads.

I found the sausage recipe at Epicurious and altered it a bit to fit the ingredients I had on hand.


1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 pound ground lamb
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1.5 tablespoons harissa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped finely
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Thoroughly combine first eight ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate for an hour or so to allow the flavors to blend. When ready to cook, form meat into patties or links and use veg oil to sauté them over medium-high heat until they are brown and crusty on the outside and still slightly pink on the inside, about 7-9 minutes, depending on size.
About an hour before dinner I got the brilliant idea to make tabbouleh, a salad of bulgur, onion, and parsley. Only we had neither bulgur nor parsley, but we did have wheat berries and mint. I set the wheat berries to cook and they were ready just in time for a quick rinse in cold water and a toss with the vegetables and herbs I had on hand. Mmmm...chewy.

Tabbouleh-style Wheat Berry Salad

1 cup cooked wheat berries
juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped and seeded
2 scallions, white and some green, chopped
salt and pepper

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit for 15 minutes or so for flavors to develop.
In addition to the sausage and tabbouleh, I whipped up some Watermelon Strawberry Feta Salad with some very sweet watermelon I picked up at the Giant that afternoon. It was all good.