In Morocco, this thick puree of greens with herbs and olives is made with a local mallow leaf called baqqula. My equivalent is a combination of greens: spinach or chard, celery, cilantro, and parsley, cooked down to a luscious, thick, dark jam perfumed with spices and heady with smoky tones.
In Morocco, our housekeeper, Fatima, prepared this jam in a shallow clay tagine set over charcoal embers. As a result, the greens developed a smoky flavor. I use readily available Spanish pimentón de la Vera to infuse a similar smoky quality.
The greens are first steamed over boiling water to preserve flavor and color, then they're slowly fried in a skillet until all the moisture has evaporated.
Greens cooked this way become quite delicious. The addition of some chopped oily black olives improves the texture. The jam will keep for up to 4 days. When you wish to serve it, simply thin to a spreadable consistency with water and olive oil and use as a spread or dip. It goes especially well with an earthy flavored semolina flatbread baked on stone or cast iron.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.