Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Stew

Fresh, fun, and a little surprising, this healthy weeknight dinner is quick to throw together and tastes fantastic. No excuse not to get your 5-a-day!

Don’t be tempted to skip the pine nuts – they add necessary texture and nuttiness that makes the whole thing really work.

Feeds 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp butter
½ tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped onion
Salt and pepper
2 large cloves of garlic, sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins (sultanas)
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch chilli flakes (to taste)
14oz tin of chopped tomatoes
½ butternut squash (approx. 500g), peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
1 small head of cauliflower, trimmed of its leaves and thick stem, cut into large florets
2 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow), de-seeded and sliced
14oz tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup pine nuts
To serve, couscous and fresh coriander

Method:

Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed pot with a lid over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil, then add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about five minutes or until softened. Add the sliced garlic, raisins and spices and cook for a minute or two, stirring often, until fragrant. Next add the tin of tomatoes, rinsing out the tin with ¼ cup of water, or so, and adding the tomatoey-water to the pot too. Give everything a stir, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add the squash, cauliflower, peppers and chickpeas and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Give everything a good stir, then pop the lid on and cook for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash and cauliflower are tender.

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts by adding them to a dry frying pan and cooking over a medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes, stirring often, until golden. Shake out onto a plate and set aside. (Careful when toasting pine nuts – they go from blonde to black in no time.)

When the vegetables are almost cooked, make the couscous. Fill up a regular tea mug with couscous, then add to a large bowl with a good pinch of salt. Add one mug’s worth of boiling water, give everything a quick stir with a fork, then pop a plate over the top and leave to steam for five minutes or so. Fluff up the couscous with a fork.

To serve, start with a generous mound of couscous on a plate. Pile on the vegetable stew, then scatter over some of the toasted pine nuts. Finish with some picked leaves of coriander.

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