Since I didn't want to go with couscous for my tagine, I decided to make a couple of salads to go with my chicken. One is a traditional cucumber yogurt dish made all over the Mediterranean; the other is a spinach and preserved lemon delight from the chapter on Morocco in my cookbook.
2 large cucumbers
Peel and chop the cucumber into half moon shapes, then lightly salt them and let some of the liquid drain. Then mix about 2/3 c of yogurt with 3/4 tsp mint, two cloves of garlic grated, and a dash of lemon zest.
Dry off the cucumbers, and add them to the yogurt mixture. Refrigerate if not serving right away. You may want to add a little salt.
Verdict: A good accompaniment to any hearty or spicy dish. Can be made with dill as well for a more Greek flavor.
Spinach Salad with Preserved Lemon and Olives
2 lbs fresh Spinach
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 c chopped olives
preserved lemon chopped
The recipe calls for the fresh stuff, but I want to try with frozen because it is cheaper and doesn't take so long! Anyway--the spinach is wilted in a giant pot, then it is well drained and dried. Then in the same pot, I sauteed the garlic with cooking spray. Once that had some color, the spinach is returned to the pan with the garlic, the chopped olives and preserved lemons. That is cooked for about a minute or so. It can be served hot or cold.
The Verdict: This is unbelievably good--I would eat it alone all day. In fact the original recipe says this serves 8, but in realty this one pot could serve just me on one plate. It goes really well with the chicken tagine.