Cooking classes with the Laughing Lemon: fennel and carrot salad

carrot fennel salad

You may have noticed a lot of Middle Eastern flavors in this blog as of late. Jerusalem – the latest Yotam Ottolenghi‘s book – is partly to be blamed, but… this was how everything really started: The Laughinglemon‘s Moroccan Feast. I knew I would like it when I saw it, and registered without further ado. What I was not expecting was Jack’s pulling his mother’s old family recipes and throw at us a  family meal cooked from the heart with all love and care. The kind of thing I will cherish for a very long time. * grab kleenex to wipe a stubborn tear *

As most mothers, Jack’s mother didn’t write her recipes down – why bother if they are normally passed down from generation to generation? And, when she explained the dishes to her sons, she did it as every mother would do. An essential ingredient was forgotten, directions would range from “let a cook for little while, but be careful not to overcook” to a whole time mother classic “add a little bit just like that” or failing to mention the little detail which would have avoided to set the kitchen on fire. Jack and his brother are trying to recover the recipes slowly but surely. and this Moroccan feast is the result of it. The most curious of all was the sudden realization that Jack and I might actually be related. Both our families are of Jewish extraction. Mine became Roman Catholic to escape the Spanish Inquisition. His, most likely fled to Morocco around the same time…

Religion and familiar disputes apart, this spicy carrot and fennel salad was one of the heroes of the day. It is not so straightforward as it might seem and it has a long list of spices, herbs and condiments. The result is totally worthwhile the effort – a fresh and crunchy dish with bold flavors. The type of thing which made K.  lose her normal calm-cool-collected state to fight for the last bit (She won. I still have a black eye…).

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3 Comments on “Cooking classes with the Laughing Lemon: fennel and carrot salad”

  1. Susanne says:

    You know K. is ruthless when it comes to food! ;-) Dim sum put her in lethal mode, don’t even try to haggle with her on that… this salad does look extremely tasty though, can’t say I blame her. Recipe?

  2. jackmcnJack says:

    Thanks for the nice review… It was indeed a blast sharing some old recipes and and getting know another part of your heritage… I should mention, however, it is actually my sister (not brother) who is recreating many of the recipes from my Mother…

  3. [...] started with a Laughing Lemon’s cooking lesson ended up with K. and B. giving me own tajine, which eventually became very handy to try the January [...]


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