Moroccan Sweet Vermicelli is comfort food at its best and easiest. And healthiest: In Morocco we grew up on this kind of dessert my mother, an ingenious cook if I ever met one, used to whip up at the drop of a hat, for children big and small. Do look for orange flower water, which is sort of its trademark flavoring: It’s widely available in Sephardi, Italian and Indian grocery stores, as well as Fairway, Zabar’s and many other specialty food stores. Inexpensive and beautifully fragrant, it adds magic to desserts and to dishes that include a sweet ingredient (like couscous with dried fruit). Do not skip the step of toasting the almonds, it does add a wonderful layer of flavor! Olive oil, honey and almonds: a great Sephardi cooking trio!
This sweet vermicelli will be delicious the next couple days as well. It makes a dozen ample servings.
- 1 pound thin short noodles, gluten-free ok
- 2-3 tablespoons orange flower
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 8 cups milk, or dairy-free milk (I love to use almond milk)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1 cup toasted almonds (preheated 325* oven 15 mn), coarsely ground
Heat a wide bottom pot until smoking hot. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the noodles. Stir briskly, until fragrant and a nice amber color. Add all but last ingredient and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to medium and cook covered 10 more minutes. The mixture will be lumpy. It will thicken as it cools: add a little milk if you like it thinner. Stir in the almonds just before serving so they don't lose their crunch. Serve warm or at room temperature.