Posts Tagged ‘Medjool dates’

This is delicious and you can prep it all in advance. If you like you can cook for the initial 1 hour and 15 minutes earlier in the day, then bring back to a simmer before adding the chickpeas and dates and putting back into the oven for the final 40 minutes.

Wine Suggestion: We think juicy, but elegant Shiraz from the Clare Valley is hard to beat with lamb and warm spices so we opened Killikanoon’s Killerman’s Run Shiraz and enjoyed the delightful plum and sloe flavours with the elegant spicy tannins adding their own to the dish.

Lamb and chickpea tagine – serves 6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 750g lamb neck, cut into chunks and seasoned well
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 400ml chicken stock, plus extra to make the couscous
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted and halved
  • 660g jar chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 300g couscous
  • 50g butter, diced
  • a large bunch of coriander, leaves picked and stems reserved for the spice paste


  • 1 small red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • a walnut-sized piece of ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 cloves, ground
  • 4 allspice berries, ground
  • 2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a large bunch of coriander stalks, reserve the leaves to add at the end

Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.

Put all of ingredients for the spice paste into a small food processor and whizz to a paste.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy casserole and brown the lamb in batches until well browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the spice paste to the casserole and cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add the carrots, red onion, chicken stock, tinned tomatoes and cinnamon stick. Then stir in the browned lamb. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Stir in the dates and chickpeas and return to the oven for a further 40 minutes.

To make the couscous, put the couscous into a heatproof bowl and add the diced butter and some seasoning. Add enough just-boiled stock to cover, then cover the bowl with a plate or cling film and leave to steam for about 10 minutes. Fork through to separate the grains then stir some chopped coriander leaves. Scatter the rest of the chopped coriander leaves over the lamb and chickpeas before serving.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe, in Olive Magazine, January 2020.)


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Baby spinach salad with dates & almonds

A truly delicious salad from Yotam and Sami’s Jerusalem. The perfect start to any middle eastern inspired meal.

Baby spinach salad with dates & almonds – to serve 4

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 100g pitted Medjool dates, quartered lengthways
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small pitas, about 100g, roughly torn in 4cm pieces
  • 75g whole unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 150g baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt

Put the vinegar, onion and dates in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix with your hands. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes, then drain any residual vinegar and discard.

Meanwhile, heat the butter and half the oil in a frying pan. Add the pita and almonds and cook on a medium heat for 4-6 minutes, stirring continually, until the pita is crunchy and golden brown. Remove from the heat and mix in the sumac, chilli and ¼ tsp of salt. Set aside to cool.

When ready to serve, toss the spinach with the pita and mix in a large bowl. Add the dates and onion, remaining oil, lemon juice and another pinch of salt. Taste for seasoning and serve.

(Original recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi’s Jerusalem, Ebury Press, 2012.)

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