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I was fortunate to take a trip to Morocco last spring, and ever since then I have an interest in recapturing the aromas and flavors which were taught to me in a cooking class in the Marrakesh medina and which would sweep you away every night in the open air market. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food, and many are home grown, including mint, olives, oranges and lemons, and saffron.
My sister referred me to Moroccan Scallops with Green Grapes and Lemon Relish, which uses many of the common Moroccan spices include karfa (cinnamon), kamoun (cumin), kharkoum (turmeric), skingbir (ginger), libzar (pepper), tahmira (paprika), maadnous (parsley), and mint. But not everything has to be from that part of the world – I was lucky to find some beautiful Qualicum Bay scallops and substituted local purple coronation grapes for the green grapes called for in the recipe.
A word about the scallops (it’s their “day” after all!): did you know that they have dozens of blue eyes? Strange, but true. Hope that little revelation didn’t turn you off scallops, because *dam* this recipe is tasty. Don’t let the scallops cook too long, and don’t skip the step of making salted lemon rind, as it really makes the relish.