Having just returned from Morocco, I am in love with all edibles from North Africa. I fell in love with the simple mixed olives tossed with preserved lemons and a myriad of seasonal vegetables from the market. The various olives and colorful vegetables in these pickles make for a beautiful presentation. Be sure to start several days ahead of serving as they need time to marinate. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for about a month. —epicureanodyssey
2 pints of pickles
FOR THE PICKLES
small Lebanese or pickling cucumbers, peel left on, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
medium carrots, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
medium turnips, peeled, halved, cut into thin wedges, optional
medium garlic cloves, peeled, lightly crushed with the flat side of a knife
medium sweet onion, such as Texas 1015 or Vidalia, peeled, halved lengthwise, medium julienne
large red and yellow bell pepper, seeded, medium julienne
head green cabbage, cut in half, cored, cut crosswise into about 1/2-inch thick pieces
mixed olives, black, green, violet in color
lemons, preferably Meyer, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
dried Mediterranean oregano
caraway seeds, lightly crushed with a mortar & pestle
coriander seeds, lightly crushed witha mortar and pestle
small pinch saffron
harissa, see recipe below
1 1/4 cups
1 1/4 cups
apple cider vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
slice feta cheese, to serve, optional
FOR THE HARISSA
1 1/2 cups
Asian chile-garlic sauce
large garlic clove, roughly chopped
dried mint, preferably spearmint
small bunch cilantro, washed to remove any grit and dried
extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
In a 1-gallon jar, add the first 16 ingredients (or through the harissa) in the order listed.
Gently heat the olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar disolves. Pour over the vegetable mixture. Cover and shake the jar to distribute the spices evenly.
Let sit at room temperature for 3 days. Put in the refrigerator to store.
To serve, put in a decorative serving bowl and top with a thin slab of feta cheese, if using.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add all the ingredients and process to a paste.
Transefer to a glass jar and cover with a thin film of extra virgin-olive oil.
Harissa may be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months. Cover with a light film of extra-virgin olive oil after each use.