I was SO excited to hear we might be getting broccoli this week, and I was determined to make a recipe with them. And then I got the share and realized – steaming this broccoli is going to be the best way to appreciate it’s incredible flavour (maybe with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, too). So steaming it is – but that’s not much of a recipe to share now, is it? So instead I decided to highlight the onions (YUM), that beautiful bunch of parsley, and the cucumbers, which so far I have mostly just eaten as-is.
I knew I wanted to caramelize the onions, and when dreaming up combinations I thought of chickpeas – well, it turns out this is a winning combination AND one that is tried and true in the form of schlada tfaya. I had never heard of it before – it’s a Moroccan-style dish, which uses sweet spices (cinnamon and ginger), plumped currants (or raisins) and absolutely delicious buttery sweet onions. I will definitely be making this again, in a bigger batch. We had ours with rice, the raita and parsley flatbreads, and tomato, but it would be great with couscous, piled on yogurt and scooped up with flatbread, or just eaten by the spoonful.
The meal then came together quickly with the cucumber raita (an Indian dish – though mine is far removed from the authentic kind) and parsley flatbreads (based on Indian parathas, but again, far from authentic). The cucumber raita is refreshing and cooling, perfect for a hot summer evening and to go with hot and spicy foods. The parsley flatbread added a herbaceous quality to the whole meal, and a nice pop of green!
More Magnificent Meal Musings:
- Tomato, Zucchini, and Sweet Onion Galette
- Tabouli with Parsley, Cucumber, Tomato, and Sweet Onion
- Tomato and Peach Salad with a Basil Vinaigrette
- Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Onions (Smitten Kitchen)
- Pasta Salad with Green Beans, Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Basil
- Caramelized Onion, Zucchini, and Sweet Corn Pizza
- Fresh Sweet Pepper with Carrot Hummus
- Good Ol’ Steamed Broccoli 🙂
Sweetly Spiced Onions and Chickpeas (Schlada tfaya)
This dish is sweetly spiced, with an incredible richness from the onions, and a pleasing texture from the chickpeas. It's based on a Moroccan dish called schlada tfaya that uses cinnamon and turmeric as the prominent spices. I ended up becoming impatient and not fully caramelizing the onions (I cooked them for about 30 minutes), and still they offered a lovely sweetness and butteriness. We enjoyed this with rice, tomato, cucumber raita, and parsley flatbread, but it could be included in wraps, piled on top of yogurt and eaten with flatbread, eaten with couscous or simply enjoyed by the spoonful (it's that good).
- 1 1/2 sweet onions, cut in half and sliced into thin crescents
- 1 can chickpeas or about two cups cooked
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 2 Tbsp ghee or cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 pinch ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a medium skillet until it shimmers and pops when water is splashed into it. Add onions, and turn heat to low-medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are uniformly brow, about 30-45 minutes.
Place currants in a bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for about 30 minutes until plump. Drain well.
Drain and rinse chickpeas thoroughly. Add to the onions along with spices. Stir, allowing the mixture to cook for another couple of minutes. Move into serving bowl and mix in the currants. Taste and add salt if needed.
This dish is perfect for hot days and to accompany hot dishes – it's cooling, refreshing, and light. It can be prepared with other vegetables (cooked beets, grated carrot, wilted spinach), but with the cucumber it's extra refreshing and hydrating. It is far from an authentic raita, but it just means this is the beginning and I'll have to share another recipe soon! We had this with the spiced onions and chickpeas, but I plan to have more of it in a wrap with lettuce and tomatoes, and loaded onto big wedges of sweet pepper.
- 1 cucumber
- 1/2 cup thick yogurt
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch cumin
- salt, to taste
Peel the cucumber (optional) and cut in half lengthways. Dice into small pieces and toss into a bowl. Stir in the rest of the ingredient. Let sit for a few minutes and taste – adjust seasoning as needed. Simple!
This recipe is very loosely based on parathas – a kind of Indian flatbread. I used parsley to give the flatbreads an aromatic quality that I thought would pair well with the spiced onions and chickpeas – and I was right! However, you can cook these up and eat them with whatever you please – curry, yogurt dips, hummus, etc.
- 1 heaping cup all purpose flour
- dash of salt
- 4 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 5 Tbsp water, plus more if needed
Mix together the flour, parsley, and salt. Add the water 1 Tbsp at a time, until dough comes together to form a cohesive ball. Knead on a floured surface until smooth. Cover in bowl and let rest for about 10-15 minutes.
To cook flatbreads, start by heating a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Rip off a small section of the dough (about the size of a chicken egg), and roll until very thin on a floured surface. Place in heated pan, and cook until brown spots appear, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook on the reverse side. The bread will likely puff up, but it will deflate again.
Repeat until all the dough is cooked. This recipe makes a small batch of about 4-6 flatbreads, depending on their size. This recipe is best fresh, which is why I kept the recipe portion small. Feel free to double or triple it.