Before there was hummus in every supermarket, food television, and celebrity chefs, cookbook authors like Paula Wolfert introduced much of the Western world to "new" and exotic foods like couscous and harissa. When Paula Wolfert got stranded in Morocco by her first husband, she had 2 young kids and $2,000. But she also had a keen curiosity about the foods of the region, which she captured in her first cookbook, "Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco," Prescient when published in 1973, it was the book I grabbed when considering this week's menu of Moroccan meals (and memories) in the making.

We've got braised chicken thighs with saffron and crushed tomatoes that simply need to be reheated. And we're super excited to offer our favorite merguez from our favorite butcher, McCall's Meat and Fish Co. This classic Moroccan-style spiced ground lamb comes loose (not in casings) and can be crumbled and browned in a pan, formed into patties or around skewers and grilled, used as a base for stews and sauces, or frozen for another time. Serve any version over couscous (delicious and a magnificent yellow when cooked in Schaner Farm's fresh orange juice) with some of our harissa on the side.

For other proteins, we've got branzino filets and Sonoma lamb t-bone chops which we love seared and smothered in chermoula, a traditional North African condiment. This bright, fresh pounded green herb sauce is also delicious tossed with roasted carrots or chickpeas. And we're offering organic ground turkey this week because we love these Moroccan-style meatballs made with turkey and served over couscous.

Mel's making velvety carrot soup with ras el hanout, a Moroccan blend of earthy, warm, "top shelf" spices. Grab a Bub and Grandma's sesame loaf to layer with harissa and dip in the soup. 

We also love this bread with marinated kefir cheese from Aris Natural Food in Inglewood. This strained yogurt cheese comes rolled in balls studded with sun-dried tomatoes or jalapenos and packed in olive oil. We also have more of their kefir-style strained plain yogurt, which is great spread on a platter beneath a tangle of roasted vegetables (topped with chermoula or harissa), turned into a savory garlic sauce, or used in a marinade.

We have oil-cured black olives to snack on while you cook or add to chopped salads with the cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, and radishes in this week's produce box. And we're also getting organic fresh fava beans if you're inspired to make a fava puree or fava fattoush (both of which are great with oil-cured black olives.)

For your pantry, we've got jars of za'atar from Miry's List, K&K Ranch's golden raisins, and chickpea flour. Za'atar is an incredibly versatile middle eastern spice blend that we love mixed with our local olive oil for a phenomenal bread dip. Plus 100% of the profits support Miry's List, a local non-profit devoted to resettling recently arrived refugee families. K&K's golden raisins are the plumpest we've found. They make an obvious snack and an unexpected quick pickle, which we love with the merguez sausage, lamb chops, or couscous. And chickpea flour is one of our favorite pantry staples. We'll provide recipes for making savory Mediterranean chickpea pancakes (socca), kalinti (Moroccan chickpea and egg tart), and a delicious vegan "frittata," all of which are delicious with cooked greens from the produce box, harissa, and oil-cured black olives.

For something sweet, a mere spoonful of Aris's lemon or fig yogurt delivers satisfaction morning, noon, or night. And Proof's frozen pistachio shortbread cookie scoops come ready to bake and enjoy with a cup of tea (perhaps made with mint from the produce box.) And sweeter still, we've got walnut baklava from Baklava Factory, our favorite local baklava shop.