by cookbookarabia

Archive for the ‘Catalan kitchen’ Category

Our own little restaurant!

In Catalan kitchen, couscous, Israelian kitchen, Maghreb kitchen, Middle Eastern kitchen, Palestinian kitchen, Sardinian kitchen, Turkish kitchen on November 5, 2010 at 4:27 pm

We are so excited! Every monday starting 8th of november we will be cooking Bismilla Arabia dishes at eating designer Marije Vogelzang’s Proef! restaurant on the Westergasterrein in Amsterdam. Marije came with us to Lebanon for our first book Arabia and we became close friends ever since. It’s so great to finally have to chance to collaborate and cook our dishes in her fantastic little cosy place. Marije is of course designing beautiful drawings like these ones, to introduce our dishes…And there are still some seats left for 15th and 22th of october, and maybe if you’re quick even for the first one this coming monday. Check it out and send a mail to &

Here’s the menu!

Our Mezze: Pistachespread & pumpkinhummus & labne & za’atar with flatbread

Turkish walnutsalad with sour hot green peppers

Our Kisir, bulghursalad with paprikapaste, lots of herbs and pomegranatemolasses

Catalan garden salad with figs & hazelnuts

Fregola with wild herbs

Yufkarolls with lamb meat, garlic yoghurt & pul biber oil

Pistachecustard & sweet couscous with orange rind, almonds and raisins.


Spicy solutions for cold nights

In Catalan kitchen, Spices on October 19, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Image: courtesy Sven Benjamins.

Some months ago we made a delicious. veggie tajine for a huge dinner at the Environmental film festival, here in Amsterdam. And finally it became even a vegan version, without any plan to do so. We just followed our tastebuds! It was a very colourfull dish with beetroot, pumpkin, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, artichoke hearts, all golden roasted or stewed with a thick sauce of Turkish paprikapaste, onion and garlic and topped of with generous amounts of a wonderfull spice paste: a blend of roasted almonds, parsley, cuminseeds, fennelseeds, carawayseeds, pimenton, and olive oil, basically a variation on the Catalan picada. Wow, it was just an explosion of taste in our mouth and people were blown away by the dish. We made way to much, so we ended up making doggy bags for everyone, and recently I ran into a girl who was there that evening and told me she had been enjoying the left overs the whole week. Now that’s what we call sustainable! We ourselves loved it so much too we decided to fix it in our weekly culinary column at VIVA magazine…and the recipe was covered as well in the daily newspaper De Volkskrant. And as the weather in this part of the world is getting worse and worse, this is our perfect comfort food.

Here’s the recipe:

Vegetable tagine with picada

2 sweet onions
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
2 ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp Turkish pepper paste
1 small butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
1 large waxy potato
2 large carrots
2 turnips
4 young beets
4 artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen if necessary)

the picada:
200 g almonds
oil for frying
1 bunch of parsley
4 tablespoons fennel seeds
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 tbsp pimentón
pul biber

Chop onions, garlic and tomatoes. Heat a dash of olive oil in a large tagine or casserole and cook the mixture about 15 minutes, add the paprika paste and some salt. Peel and slice the other vegetables in roughly equal pieces. Add a little water to the onion mixture and simmer for about 30 minutes on low heat. Fry the almonds in a golden brown layer of oil. Drain and cool. Chop the parsley roughly. Roast the spices except the pimentón 1 minutes in a hot dry frying pan. Mix the almonds in a food processor with the parsley, ¾ of the spice mixture, the pimentón to a fine paste and stir vigorously with a little olive oil and season with salt. Spoon the picada generously over the roasted vegetables, sprinkle with pul biber and the rest of the spices.