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On Your Mark, Get Set: A Cornucopia of Veggies

2010 October 5

by Brianna Bain

Fall has  officially rolled into Southern California. Temperatures have started to slide and cloudy, damp days have sent me hunting for my warmer socks  buried at the bottom of the drawer.  One of my most cherished months, October is a sort of a warm-up round for the cooking marathon of events that follow in November, December and January. Thoughts of squash, beans, corn and  sweet root vegetables fill my head as I dream of this weeks recipe.  Sarah’s Roasted Pepper Bisque definitely flipped my fall cooking switch. The medley of veggies  Sarah used as a backdrop to the peppers conjures images of cornucopia, harvest festivals, family gatherings,  and  all the soul nurturing  activities in preparation for the revitalizing quiet of the winter months to come. I relish the idea of filling the house with warm delicious smells of roasted veggies and rich spices.

I recently was gifted a Tajine by a friend. It is a pot  formed entirely of a heavy clay, used in North African cuisine of Morocco, Algeria and Libya. I have only dabbled in using it over the past year and see my revved inspiration into fall cooking as the perfect opportunity to  further explore its use. Tajines are pivotal in creating that amazing tastiness that I can only describe as the “ancient flavor” found in earthy Mediterranean dishes.  They are easy to use either on stove-top or in the oven and  notably contribute to expanding culinary adventures in the kitchen. My plan for this week is to arrange a dish that pulls from the rich vegetable palate of Sarah’s soup  and allow the tajine to influence my use of a unique blend of  warm, smokey, and  sweet Moroccan spices. I have also had my eye on the neighbors fig tree bursting with deep purple clusters of ripening fruit, a sweet and authentic addition to my tajine creation.

Check back on Thursday to see what shape this Fall inspired Moroccan vision takes.