Recipe Courtesy of Bethany Kehdy
Bethany Kehdy is a cook, author, presenter, and champion of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and North African cuisines. She utilizes traditional Middle Eastern ingredients in new and unique ways. Her love for Middle Eastern cuisine is evident through her work conducting educational food tours within Lebanon (@TasteLebanon), her cookbooks, and her supperclubs (@SwingingMawsam)!
Moghrabieh translates to “from the countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria” and refers to both the rolled semolina pellets as well as a traditional dish, which incorporates lamb and/or chicken. I love moghrabieh but only when it’s steamed. I find that boiling it, as some traditional recipes may suggest, renders it mushy and it looses its shape and lovely texture. Think of this as a sort of Middle Eastern pasta salad.
Moghrabieh Salad with Preserved Lemon and Coriander Pesto by Bethany Kehdy
1. Rub the moghrabieh with the butter and the toasted caraway seeds. Place a steamer pot over medium heat, pour in the vegetable broth, secure the steamer basket over it, line with muslin cloth (so the moghrabieh pellets don’t fall through), add the moghrabieh, cover and steam for 45 minutes or till the moghrabieh is soft and chewy.
2. Meanwhile, turn a burner to high heat and lean the peppers, stems still on, directly over the burner turning occasionally with tongs until all sides are charred and the peppers are soft. This should take about 5 minutes per side or 15-20 minutes in total.
Remove from heat and transfer to a paper or plastic bag, seal and allow to steam and rest for 10 minutes.
Hold the stem of each individual pepper, and using the bag, peel off the skin and the char. Slice off the crown, discarding any seeds and quarter the peppers lengthwise. Note: If you do not have a gas stove or BBQ, poke some holes in the peppers before roasting in a pre-heated oven 180C/ 350F/4G and cook them for 25-30 minutes or till they are soft. Continue with instructions as above.
3. As the peppers are grilling, prepare the pesto; to a small food processor add the preserved lemon, coriander, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and lemon juice, salt to taste and pulverise to a rough, pesto consistency. Toss the pesto with the cooked moghrabieh and chickpeas, season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, divide the tossed salad amongst 4 individual serving plates and top each serving with 3 slivers of peppers.