In the five years that I've lived in Morocco some of my passions and skills have bubbled up to the surface. Throughout these years I've tried new things and explored jobs without ever remembering what skills have been with me all along.
I've always enjoyed cooking for my family, pretending to be a chef on TV, always been thrilled to feed loved ones and friends. I've always received many compliments about my cooking skills and been told many times "You should open a restaurant!" My answer has been "But I'm not a chef, I'm just a passionate cook".
To be a dedicated vegetarian in Marrakech is challenging. Moroccan cuisine has a lot of vegetarian dishes but sadly many are not served at restaurants. These amazing dishes are usually prepared at home and enjoyed with the family. And if they are served in a restaurant, the quality is nowhere near as great as the home-cooked ones. Having access to fresh daily produce makes my vegetarian lifestyle easier though. I can walk to the market daily and buy fresh vegetables to create dishes I enjoy, dishes that are connected to my childhood and my family’s background.
In February of this year, I was invited to the fabulous Scorpion House to help the chef in the kitchen prepare more of a variety of vegetarian dishes. After that was so enjoyable and successful, I decided to invite people to eat with me at my home in the medina through various platforms that offer guests the chance to share a meal with a stranger. I had doubt, I always underestimate myself, but now I've already hosted two successful evenings for groups of lovely people. This week I had the privilege to cater at another fantastic riad and retreat house right here in Marrakech medina, Maison 28, where the guests all loved my home-cooked food.
I am not a chef but I sure am a cook, who loves making others happy by offering them a meal prepared with passion and the freshest ingredients. Here's another of my specialties, bon appétit!
Serves two people
1 medium tomato, diced small
1 medium avocado, diced small
2 medium green peppers, roasted on open fire (the ones available here are the long ones that are often referred to as Anaheim peppers)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup yellow corn
½ cup black beans (not easily available in Marrakech so I have to do without it)
Fresh green cilantro (coriander) to taste (I use about 2 Tbsp)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ Tsp dried coriander
Chili sauce to taste
Juice of 1 medium lime (or lemon – finding lime in Marrakech is hit or miss)
Drizzle of olive oil
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.