A Moroccan Theme Christmas Eve Dinner

I like to make new dishes for Christmas Eve dinner that is different from the standard ham or turkey. This year, I chose to do a Moroccan theme since I fell in love with the food during my visit last June. Below is my menu along with the recipes (or links to them). PS – All but the Bastilla are gluten-free and dairy-free.
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  • A variety of olives
  • Herbed almonds
  • Dried figs


  • Orange slices with pomegranate and mint
  • Brown rice couscous
  • Chard with ras el hanut and preserved lemon
  • Lamb and prune tagine
  • Chicken Bastilla (see link to Cooking with Alia for recipe and video instruction)


Orange Slices with Pomegranate and Mint Recipe

Slice off the rind and pith of two large navel oranges and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup orange blossom water and allow to sit for at least one hour. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then scatter on a handful of pomegranate seeds and 1/4 cup chopped mint.

Chard with Ras El Hanut and Preserved Lemon

Chopped one bunch of chard (finally chop the thicker stems). Saute chard in 2 tbsp. safflower oil. When wilted, add 1 tbsp. of ras el hanut, salt (to taste) and 1/2 chopped preserved lemon rind. Continue cooking until chard is tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.

 Lamb & Prune Tagine

  • 1 boneless leg of lamb, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion (do not slice or dice)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, tied into a bundle
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 3 cups pitted prunes
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. orange blossom water

In the bottom of your tagine, add the olive oil, lamb, onion, cilantro, cinnamon stick, ginger, saffon, salt, pepper and water. Using a diffuser under your tagine, bring to a boil using medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cover with tagine lid. From time to time, skim off stew. Cook for 2-3 hours.
Discard the cilantro, onion and cinnamon stick. Add prunes and continue cooking with the lid on for 15 minutes. Remove lamb & prunes to a bowl. Boil liquid until reduced, about 5 minutes. Add honey and boil 5 minutes. Turn off burner. Return lamb and prunes to the tagine and stir in orange blossom water. It’s now ready to serve.

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