This Easter, I decided to do something different than our usual Italian menu. Instead, we traveled across the Strait of Gibraltar and enjoyed a Moroccan inspired meal.
For the main course, I made a bastilla. Bastilla is a filo pie that’s traditionally filled with a sweet and savory egg and chicken filling. Vegan Eats World, World Vegan Feast and Chloe’s Kitchen all had tasty-sounding vegan bastilla recipes. In the end, I went with the Chloe’s Kitchen recipe because the tofu and mushroom filling in that recipe sounded the most appealing to me. The dish came together fairly quickly. I cooked the filling on my stovetop and then layered it with filo and a ground almond, cinnamon and sugar mixture in a cake pan. After baking it for 30 minutes, I had this pretty centerpiece, which was a hit with omnis and vegans alike.
For side dishes, I turned to Habeeb Saloum’s Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa. Each recipe in that book has its country of origin under the recipe name, so I was able to easily pick some Moroccan inspired veggies. Since my local farmers market had lovely beets and fresh spinach, I went with Tangy Beet Salad and a “spinach salad” that was served hot. The beets were dressed simply with mustard, nutmeg and vinegar. The spinach was boiled with hot pepper and oregano, then sauteed with olive oil, garlic, cumin and lemon. Both dishes were easy to make and tasty.
For dessert, I departed from the Moroccan theme and did some more baking from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts. Since raspberries are in season here, I made the Lemon Raspberry Tart. Like all of Chloe’s recipes, the tart was simple to make and did not use any special “vegan” ingredients. The shortbread crust was made of flour, sugar, margarine and salt. The filling was made of coconut milk, corn starch sugar, lemon zest and extract. The finished tart was greater than the sum of its parts. Somehow, it managed to taste like custard despite the lack of eggs or anything to replace them. The tart raspberries were a perfect foil to the sweet crust and custard.