The other day, Susanne of Magentratzerl and me were „comment-talking“ about a Lebanese liver dish with pomegranate. I had eaten this treat which is called Sawdit Dajaj as part of a mezze or mesa in Lebanese restaurants in Berlin before I was a vegetarian, and I still remember that it was delicious – sweet and slightly sour with warm Oriental flavors.
We had the idea to do an approach from two sides: she is a liver fan and created a respective version while I gave seitan (wheat gluten) a try, and today, we post our results simultaneously. Thanks a lot, Susanne, for our little blog-to-blog co-working adventure, I enjoyed this a lot! You will find her gorgeous liver recipe Hühnerleber nach Shawarma-Art (chicken liver shawarma style, recipe in German language) on her blog which features also many other wonderful recipes, among them fine Bavarian and Asian treats. My version (along with some fancy salad) will follow below.
To stay just a bit longer with the synchrony topic (and to thus build a bridge to today’s urban shots): Do you know any place that is more about the coexistence of different stories and people and things and thoughts gathered in just one place at just one time than flea markets? I have to admit that I haven’t been to one for quite a while, but I started to take up visits again every once in a while in search for food photo decoration stuff. Here’s some insight to the fading grandeur of lost and found treasures at one of Berlin’s many flea markets:
OK, time to turn to the treats… Along with the Oriental seitan we had a wonderful salad from Yotam Ottolenghis and Sami Tamimis „Jerusalem“ cookbook with spinach, dates and almonds. I made a few changes regarding some ingredients, and in our eyes, the two dishes had been a perfect team.
Here are my recipes
Vegetarian Sawdit Dajaj – Lebanese-style seitan with pomegranate & cilantro
For two mezze servings, mix 2 tablespoons sunflower oil with 1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon ground cardamon, a pinch of clove, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds, and 1 clove of garlic sliced very finely. Mix well. Drain a package of soft organic seitan pieces and dry with paper towel. Marinate the pieces with the oil mixture and put aside for at least 1 hour (you can also marinate over-night which will intensify the taste).
Cut a pomegranate in two halves. Take off the pits of one half and put aside (use the other half for something else). Clean and chop a handful of cilantro leafs. Chop two shallots (I forgot them…) and cut lengthwise into quarters. Heat some sunflower oil in a pan, add the seitan and stir well on all sides until it gets a nice color and smell. Add the shallots and go on stirring for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add pomegranate pits and mix. Serve in a small dish and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with pita and enjoy – the tender sweetness of seitan fits very well the warm spices and the sweet-sour fruitiness of pomegranate .
Spinach salad with dates & almonds
For two mezze servings, cut one handful of dried dates without pits lengthwise into quarters. Cut a shallot into fine rings. Mix the shallots, the dates, a bit of raspberry vinegar and a pinch of salt and put aside. Clean 2 handsful of fresh young spinach and put aside.
Roast two small slices of full grain bread in a toaster. Pick into not too small pieces. Chop coarsely some unpeeled almonds. In a wider pan, heat some olive oil and roast the almonds and the bread until the bread is crunchy. Take off the pan and mix with 1 teaspoon of sumach and some salt.
Mix the spinach with the bread & almonds mixture and with the date mixture, also add some olive oil and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. We just loved this well balanced composition of sweet, fresh, nutty and slightly sour flavors.
Recipe based on Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi: „Jerusalem“ (the original recipe uses red onions, white wine vinegar, pita, butter, and chili flakes – I left away the latter and replaced the other components according to our favorite ingredients).
And now I am most excited to read how Susanne prepared her dish and which spices and ingredients she used!