Figs, Dates and Harissa Chutney

I just came back from Marrakech where I had the best time! I was there as a guest chef to launch Salt Marrakech’s autumn menu. How cool is that?

The restaurant is based in this magnificent riad called Dar Les Cigognes. Everything about this place is charming and makes you feel so special. The menu is a 6 course-meal focusing on Moroccan seasonal food and modern cuisine. I served things like a verbena and yellow melon (also known as louisa and batikh in Morocco) cooler and a deconstructed version of zaalouk with khobz and goats cheese mousse. My favourite meal was the brown butter and preserved lemon sea bream served on a bed of cardoons. Actually, everything in this menu is one of my favourite things! 6 courses could sound like a lot of food but while everything was super tasty in my own way, I also made sure to keep a good balance between each meal so guests won’t feel like balloons after their meal. Feedback was very positive and plates came back empty almost every time which made me sooooo happy. If you happen to be in Marrakech and hungry, book a table at Salt! I left my menu in the hands of their adorable in-house team, they will take a very good care of you.

Now I am back in London working other exciting projects and all I can think about is my next holiday! I think being in Morocco when it’s 34 degrees and not wearing a swimming suit is not something I am used to. The sad news is there will be no holidays for me for a looooong time, oh well!

This figs, dates and harissa chutney is a direct consequence of my life as a foodie in London. When I moved here 6 years ago I didn’t know what a “chutney” was. I discovered it at a Christmas party that we organised with my university friends. While I was in charge of the stuffing for 30 people another girl was in charge of the chutney to go with all the cheeses. When I was introduced to it, I was very confused at first. Why would anyone have their cheese with jam? But they explained to me that it was much more than jam. And they were right! It was sweet, savoury, spicy and I quickly became addicted to it. Since then, there’s no cheese party if we don’t have a jar of my favourite chutney around.

A few weeks ago I made and photographed this delicious fruity and spicy chutney so I could share the recipe with you! It was great because it gave me the best excuse to eat cheese and bread for 2 days straight. Enjoy!

p.s: also pictured are yummy krachel

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Figs, dates and harissa chutney

Ingredients

  • 200 gr red onions, sliced
  • 300 gr tomatoes, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 250 gr figs, stalks removed and roughly chopped
  • 140 gr dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 70 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons mild harissa or more to taste 
  • 1 ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Generous pinch saffron

Method

• Place all the ingredients in a deep skillet and stir well to combine under low-medium heat. Simmer for 40 minutes until all liquids have evaporated. Transfer into a sterilized jar and leave to cool. Enjoy with your favourite cheese or as a spread!

Notes

• Keep for up to 4 weeks in the fridge.