Friday, November 2, 2012

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Carrot Stew With Quinoa

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Carrot Stew With Quinoa

I never realized what a fan I was of Moroccan food until I started this blog.  I am noticing that I have collected so many recipes over the years, torn from magazines, tried and true, based on the wonderfully fragrant ingredients - with no real notice of the country of origin.

Separately, I have dreamed of visiting Marrakesh since I was a girl.  I was unaware of the cuisine but intrigued by a faraway land, a city shrouded in exotic mystique, winding streets dotted with a bevy of souks. Maybe I watched Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much too many times and picked up on the spiritual lust that musicians of yesteryear had for this city.

It is probably not the best time to visit today so until then, I shall just enjoy the recipes. This particular one I picked up years ago and prepare every winter.  There are layers and layers of flavors in this hearty, vegetarian meal. Substitute margarine or olive oil for the butter and you have a delicious vegan dinner. Don't be put off by the length of the ingredient list - this dish is not too time consuming and you will be rewarded greatly for your efforts.  

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Carrot Stew With Quinoa
For the stew
2 T olive oil
1 c chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic. chopped
ginger, 1/2 thumb size, peeled and diced
2 t Hungarian paprika (sweet or hot, per your taste)
1 t salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t cayenne pepper
pinch of saffron
1 c water
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 c of fresh butternut squash cubes (1/2 inch in size;  buy peeled, cut squash to save time)
2 c of 3/4 inch cubes of peeled carrots (buy peeled baby carrots to save time)
For the quinoa
1 c quinoa
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 c finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 c finely chopped peeled carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t salt
1/2 t turmeric
2 c water
1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves, chopped and divided in half
2 t fresh mint, chopped and divided in half
Prepare the stew
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add onion, sauteing until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and stir for 1 minute. Mix in paprika and next 7 ingredients.Add 1 cup water, drained tomatoes and lemon juice.  Increase to high heat and bring to a boil. Add squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about about 20 minutes.
Prepare the quinoa
While the stew is simmering, rinse the quinoa and drain.  In a sauce pan over medium heat, add oil and butter and allow butter to melt. Add carrot and onion and cook until vegetables begin to brown, stirring often. about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt and turmeric and saute for 1 minute. Add quinoa and stir for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil;  reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Remove stew from heat, add 1/2 of the cilantro and 1/2 of the mint.  Stir and cover to keep warm while quinoa simmers.
To serve, divide quinoa evenly among 4 plates. Over quinoa, spoon stew evenly over each plate.  Sprinkle remaining herbs on top.

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Source:  Bon Appetit 

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