Hello again blogosphere!
I’ve been away from you, traveling through London and Paris, and regaining my culinary verve!
In looking back at some of my last posts, I can see I was in a cooking rut. Making dinner had become a chore instead of the hour of relaxation and decompression it had previously been for me.
I was definitely in need of a break.
But now, I’m back in my itty bitty city kitchen with new culinary inspiration!
In London I stumbled upon a fantastic little Moroccan restaurant in the Leicester Square area. And I had one of the most amazing plates of food I have ever experienced. It could have been the charming waiter. It could have been the thrill of being to dinner by myself in a foreign city. Or it could have been the best darn cous cous I have ever had.
Whatever it may be, I was craving it when we got back. So I set to work to recreate the meal.
Moroccan food is my new obsession. The way the vegetables are roasted to tender perfection, the pairing of sweet and warm and savory spices, the burst of dried apricots nestled amongst the squash and sweet potatoes… Drool worthy.
This might not be authentic Moroccan, but it captured the essence of the meal.
This made enough for the two of us for dinner and extra for two or three lunches. The best kind of recipe!
You will need
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 yellow squash cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- a handful of shredded cabbage
- a handful each of dried prunes and dried apricots, chopped
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
Once all of the ingredients are chopped, it’s just a matter of layering all of the flavors in a big pot and letting them cook together.
Start by drizzling a big heavy bottomed pan with olive oil and tossing in the onion.
When the onion is softened, add the garlic, tomato paste and cinnamon.
Give a big stir and add about a 1/2 cup of water, stirring to combine the tomato paste.
Let this cook together for about 5 minutes, and then add the sweet potato, squash, carrots and cabbage.
Give the pot a big stir and add the apricots and prunes.
Give it another big stir to combine and then add about a cup and a half of water
Cover and let simmer over medium heat for about an hour, stirring twice.
After an hour, add the chickpeas and stir to combine.
Meanwhile, prepare the couscous. The chickpeas just need a few minutes to warm through. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
Serve up big bowls of couscous and ladle the vegetable mixture over top.
Eating it I was back in the restaurant watching people walk around London…