Winter Vegetable Couscous Stew
This Moroccan-style couscous stew is great for weeknights because it can be made with any vegetables you have on hand. Even better the next day, once the flavors have developed.
1 15-oz. /400g can chopped tomatoes
5 cups vegetable broth or water
1 large or 2 small onions, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced, optional
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. ras el hanout
1 Tbs. olive oil, optional
2 tsp. salt
6 cups winter vegetables, cut into chunks (I used cauliflower, butternut squash, and celeriac)
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup plumped raisins*, optional
Optional add-ins: ¼ preserved lemon, sprigs of parsley and/or cilantro
Combine the tomatoes, broth or water, onions, fennel (if using), garlic, ras el hanout, oil (if using), and salt in a medium Dutch oven or large saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes.
Add the vegetables, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in the chickpeas, or serve on the side with the plumped raisins. Serve the stew with cooked couscous grains, rice, or polenta.
*To plump the raisins, place them in a bowl, and cover with boiling water. Drain before serving.
Ras El Hanout
This Moroccan spice blend can be made with anywhere from 10 to 50 different spices. The basic recipe here was designed to call for spices you probably already have on hand.
1 Tbs. each ground coriander, cumin, and ginger
2 tsp. each black pepper, ground cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and turmeric
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
pinch of saffron, optional
Spoon all the spices into a small jar. Close, and shake to combine.