Tag Archives: Passover

Encore fava beans!

A New Way to Cook with Fava Beans!

Leaves included!

Some of you may know of my taste for fresh fava beans, that most underrated bean, at least among US cooks. 

 Fava beans always come to mind at this time of the year, especially around Easter and Passover. Growing up in Morocco meant I got to participate in the rituals of Muslims, Christians, and Jews: That made for sampling a number of celebratory dishes, from Ramadan soup, to Hot Cross Buns, and my maternal great-grandmother’s Passover bean soup packed with fresh cilantro.

 My favorite way to savor favas is à la marocaine of course, cooked in olive oil, and flavored with cumin, paprika, and cilantro.  But I was thrilled to discover that fava leaves are also edible. This thanks to a vendor at the Vista farmer’s market, the one where you will find me every Saturday morning. Gladys, an expert in Asian cooking, told me she added fava leaves instead of pea shoots to her Chinese egg drop soup. So I rushed to the store, bought the makings for chicken broth, and added fava leaves and sesame oil:  I am here to tell you that this soup will become part of my repertoire .  

In the same spirit of experimentation, I too, decided to give a Moroccan classic a new twist by adding leaves and pods ( as long as they are young and tender). Shelling favas is somewhat time consuming, but you can do that a day or two ahead.  The leaves have only a very faint, grassy taste, so you can be generous when you add them to your dish.

Et voilà le résultat! Bon appétit!


Fava Beans, Leaves and Pods with chermoula spices

 serves 4

 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons cumin

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 cup shelled fava beans

2 cups fava bean leaves (no stems)

4 or 5 small, slender pods, cut into 2-inch pieces

½ bunch cilantro tied with string

½ cup water

Salt and pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

 In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add paprika, cumin, and garlic. Stir until spices start to bubble. Add tomatoes, shelled beans, leaves, pods, cilantro and water. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Discard cilantro. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl, and serve at room temperature. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro before serving.

copyright Kitty Morse 2011

A Biblical Feast for Easter or Passover

       My new book is finding a niche in a number of stores from Southern California, to Wisconsin, Illinois, New York City, and even, south of the border.  For that, I am most grateful You can, of course, always order it on this site, and now, on Amazon.com as well.

       With Easter and Passover fast approaching, a biblical menu seems in order. One of the biblical ingredients I love to eat, is leeks. Especially the pencil thin "poireau" that I sometime purchase at our local farmer’s market, or more often, when I am in Morocco.

     The large leeks we find in US are ideally suited for making soup (green fronds included, though discarded before serving), or to make leek quiche (if you slice them finely enough), but nothing beats the slender leeks for the following dish. You can follow the leeks with Dukkah (sesame/nigella/cumin sprinkle),with bread and olive oil, for dipping; Roasted Lamb with Cumin; flat bread; and for dessert, Dates Stuffed with Almond Paste, or Sephardic style Harosset, made with dates.

 from A Biblical Feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table. 

Leeks with Olive Oil, Vinegar
& Mustard Seed

(Serves 4)

It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took,
and cast into his garden;
and it grew, and waxed a great tree;
and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
Luke 13:19



Photography Owen Morse c. 2009

4 or 5 slender leeks

(the slenderest you can find)

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, toasted

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

3 sprigs parsley, minced

     Trim leeks and rinse under running water. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Cook leeks until very soft, 10-15 minutes. Drain and place in a serving dish. Using a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder, finely grind mustard seeds. In a small bowl, blend vinegar and mustard seeds. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon dressing over leeks and garnish with parsley.



A Biblical Feast (continued)


FINALLY!  The book is now listed on Amazon.com for all the world to see! Just in time for Easter and Passover!

Distribution continues apace. The book is finding a home in gift shops attached to historic California Missions up and down the coast, as well as at selected universities (Palomar College, University of San Diego) , and my alma mater, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (my other "hometown"!)

This marketing challenge has deepened my respect for the blogging world, and for the food bloggers who diligently impart information, recipes, and photographs on an almost daily basis. How DO they do it? But then, they must not be writing a memoir with recipes, the all-encompassing task that is occupying most of the time I spend at the computer.   


Send this e-letter along to friends. The person who invites the most referrals to my site will receive a signed copy of my book (Tell them to mention your name when they contact me!) 

It’s raining limes! (Again)


 I feel so sorry for my citrus trees. The weather has been so mercurial that they can’t tell if it’s summer, Fall, or spring. We have had several heat waves at the oddest times, which has spurred fruit to ripen prematurely perhaps, and in doing so, splitting before falling to the ground. A Google search yielded nothing much in the way of combatting the situation. I just hope this isn’t permanent.

I would suggest, if you have YELLOW limes (such as Bearss or Key limes) or lemons, to preserve them for future use, or to give away. I have made preserved lemon addicts in my own circle of friends, many of whom requested a jar! That certainly made Christmas shopping easier!

Marketing my reprint of A Biblical feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table occupies most of my time (no citrus existed in Biblical Times, save for the Etrog citron, perhaps), instead of lemon juice, I use a touch of vinegar or a spoonful of pomegranate molasses to impart a fruity, citric flavor to some of the biblically-inspired dishes. 

A  new decade, and a new project:  I have tested many of the recipes for my preserved lemon book. Time to harvest today’s pickings.


A bientot,