In 1492, when King Boabdil of Granada, the last of the Nasrid rulers, was ousted by the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he fled south, stopping briefly in the Valle de Lecrín, before fleeing to Fez. Fed by the waters from the Sierra Nevada that dominate the skyline, the Lecrín Valley is rich in citrus, olive and almond groves. This tapenade combines all three flavours in equal balance, and so I think of it as a homage to this truly beautiful part of the world.
A very light side dish with a discernable Ottolenghi influence. It offers a surprising mix of flavours and textures for a relatively quick, and simple dish. Mograbieh, also known as pearl couscous, has roots in middle-eastern cuisine though its semolina base combined with its size and textures evokes memories of pastina (Italian for “little pasta”) for this author.
Apparently the word ‘curry’ came into the English language from Tamil, at about the time when the East India Company began trading spices from the Coromandel Coast. Since then, the word has literally spread. Curries have a huge cultural and geographic remit now, from Japan all the way to Jamaica, via Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and India (not to mention Britain with its baltis!), and it seems less and less clear what exactly constitutes a ‘curry’ — but I guess anything saucy and spicy fits the bill.
Cranberry sauce is, of course, not really meant to be a sauce, but more of a jam. There are, in my view, two great aspects to cranberries: firstly, when ripe, their ruby red colour is so vibrant and Christmassy that just looking at them makes you happy; secondly, they are so very tart that they need no added pectin when made into a jam. This recipe throws in a bit of zing by adding ginger, spices and chilli flakes.