One question all journalists (classic case of blogger trying to sound famous) seem extra fond of, is where we find inspiration for our recipes. I’m pretty sure that we have given them different answers every time. Mainly because it’s difficult to pin an answer down to one thing. Everyone who works creatively, in any profession, knows that inspiration comes in bits and pieces. For us, it can sometimes be a flavor that lingers on after a visit to a restaurant or a street kitchen. Other times it might be something we have seen or read. A photo of a dish that triggers an idea (often of something completely different, oddly enough), a blog post, a book or a memory. Or of course, a trip to a farmer’s market. Walking around food seems to be a failsafe way to get us thinking about new recipes. Unfortunately, sitting in our own kitchen and trying to be creative never works. We draw blank every time.
Another factor that clearly has inspired our recipes is our travels. It’s mind-boggling how ingredients like lentils are cooked for dinner in the US and dessert in Asia. How similar (and yet so different) an Italian focaccia is to an Indian naan. Or learning how adding a little cinnamon and cumin to a French ratatouille suddenly gives it a Moroccan twist. And talking about Morocco, we just came back from Marrakech and Ourika Valley. It was a balanced mix of work (we’ll tell you more about that later) and leisure. Somehow I managed to take 1876 (!) photos while we were there. Here are a few of them.
We got this beautiful riad in a home exchange.
Daughter, mother and grandmother.
With all the dates, avocado, lime and pomegranate sold on every street corner, we whipped together this delicious and quick dessert or breakfast. It’s a ready-in-a-minute kind of treat. And it’s unbelievably yummy, especially with all that pomegranate on top. It truly was a fresh break from all the Moroccan pastries, harsha (corn bread) and msemen (pancakes) that we have been stuffing ourselves with (I convinced Luise that we needed to try them all to truly learn the Moroccan food culture).
Raw Key Lime Mousse with Pomegranate
4 small portions
As you can see on the recipe, this really is quick and easy. It would probably be a good dessert to serve at a non-formal party or brunch, as it is very easy to prepare a whole bunch of glasses a few hours ahead and then let them rest in the fridge.
2 ripe avocados
2 limes, zest and juice
6 fresh soft dates, pitted (if you only can find dried dates, soak them for 20 minutes and drain)
1 pomegranate, seeded in water
Divide the avocados in half. Remove the stone, scoop out the avocado flesh with a spoon and discard the skin. Place in a bowl together with lime zest, juice and dates. Use an immersion blender (hand blender) or a food processor and mix until completely smooth. Taste and add more lime if needed. Scoop the mixture into 4 small serving glasses and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with a generous amount pomegranate seeds.
Ps. I got a little obsessed with all the colors, patterns and textures. And since I didn’t want to make this post any longer than it already is, I created a short slideshow. Sorry about the bad image quality, I don’t know five cents about video editing.