Citrus and North African Food in the Cold

The adventures with bell peppers continue… Actually, this week I wanted to make carrot-ginger soup. It’s cold and gross out and soup seemed appealing. Unfortunately, I don’t have a blender, or food processor so, I had to go for plan B, more bell peppers. Actually, last week I found this amazing looking recipe called Mechwiya, which is a North African roasted bell pepper salad/relish thing. I seemed like a good idea, but not a meal in it of itself so, clearly, the only logical thing to do was stick it in a filo turnover. Because everything is awesome baked in filo dough.

1 1/2 – 2 red bell peppers, roasted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 tsp cumin
juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 sheets filo dough

Roast the bell peppers at 400 until soft. Mix the cumin, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix together. Once the bell pepper is cool, chop into small pieces and add it to the other ingredients with the olive oil. Mix and let it sit and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

The salad/filling

The salad/filling

Once the filling has marinated, take one sheet of filo dough and fold it into thirds lengthwise. Brush that sheet with melted butter or more olive oil (I always use butter because, well, butter is awesome), Place some of the filling in the bottom of the filo, and fold it up like a flag. Brush the top and any ends of dough sticking out with butter. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 until the filo is lightly brown. Also you should probably poke holes in the filo to let steam out before you bake it, but the world won’t end it you forget.

mechwiya turnover

Oh my god it was so good. I had some of the remnants of the salad by itself, but in the filo, it was insane. Most things I make are really good, but this was a 10. No futzing, nothing added necessary, it was just freaking amazing. I had it with a side of Carrottes d’Afrique du Nord and served it with a Belgian tripel. Mostly because I like tripels, but I think white wine would work too. The recipe is very citrus-y and that goes better with whites than reds. Song of the week: Don’t think twice, it’s Alright by Bob Dylan. One of my all time favorite Dylan songs. There are a million covers of this song, and I listen to different versions based on my mood, but its good to start with Dylan’s original version. It’s melancholy and beautiful and everyone can relate to it.

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