Moroccan Food is Strong, Colorful and Infused with Spices
As I write this article I am looking out the window at the weather. Today is officially the first day of summer, but here in Pau, France it seems like early Spring. It has been rainy and cold for weeks, no one knows when it will officially stop so we can welcome in warm weather.
Morocco is a country located south of Spain with a long political history linked to France and Spain (whereby Morocco gained its independence from both countries in 1956). Although I have never had the opportunity to visit Morocco, I have had the luck of eating good Moroccan cuisine. Like its hot and sunny biodiverse country, Moroccan food is warm and full of color, sweetness and spice. It is a cuisine that I would like to explore more because it’s vibrant flavors add a big touch of taste without heaviness.
Paula Wolfert, (a cookbook writer that I greatly admire), used to live in Morocco and developed a tomato jam recipe that I adapted for you here. The original recipe for tomato jam comes from her cookbook called “The Food Of Morocco” which you can buy here, if interested.
Adding seeds to a dish is an ideal way to add some flavor and good nutrition
Moroccan meals are a pleasure to the eye. Served in clay tagines, the Moroccan meats, fish , eggs and vegetables are usually presented with a condiment (sauce) on foods along with a sprinkle of seeds.
Not every culture uses seeds as a topping like you would see in Morocco. This dusting of sesame seeds that I use is this recipe adds much to the texture, look and nutrition of any meal. If you are a vegetarian, this tomato jam dish adds a smack of flavor to your vegetarian menus, while seeds give you protein and healthy fatty acids. I cannot say enough about the nutrition power of seeds and I just encourage you to experiment and sprinkle away!
Moroccan Tomato Jam is a healthy condiment to spice up meat, fish, eggs and vegetables
The texture of this condiment is exactly like its title: jam. The main ingredient is tomatoes and by roasting and cooking them for a long period, the liquid evaporates, leaving behind a thick nutrient-rich tomato sauce. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and cancer prevention food. This dish uses honey to sweeten, (a better choice than sugar) and fresh ginger, an antibacterial strong spice known for its gastrointestinal calming properties. The sesame seeds add the last healthy crush, as these seeds are popular in Moroccan cuisine and have antioxidant properties and help with lowering blood cholesterol because of lignans called sesamin and sesamolin present in sesame seeds.
Recipe ReDux Challenge
This recipe for tomato jam is part of a monthly recipe challenge that publishes healthy tasting and nutritious recipes developed by dietitians and nutritionists. This month’s recipe theme was “sowing your seasonal seeds” highlighting a recipe from our region that uses a seed as a main ingredient.
In French cuisine the use of seeds is not a paramount as in other cultures. To collaborate with the seed theme I thought immediately of Moroccan cuisine. France has a large Moroccan population and Moroccan food is found easily in France. Morocco and Moroccan food is part of France and French culture, despite the efforts on both sides to keep cultural traditions, language, dress and food as their proud distinctions.
Bon Appetit! Please let me know if you try this recipe and how it comes out. I loved the easiness and strong flavor of this tomato jam. Now we just have to wait for summer to come and grill some meat and slip this sauce and sesame seeds on the barbecued food.
Enjoy the choice of recipes from my fellow dietitians.
Moroccan Tomato Jam Topped With Sesame Seeds
|Prep time||15 minutes|
|Cook time||45 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour|
- 2lb ripe tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt ((or regular table salt))
- fresh ground pepper (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons orange flower water
- 2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
You can double the recipe and put leftovers in the freezer.