Moroccan Squash Tagine w/ Chickpeas and Couscous

Moroccan Squash Tagine with Garbanzos and Couscous

Serves 6      Hands-on time: 15 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes

For the squash tagine

3 tablespoons olive oil
10 small shallots, peeled
8 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 pounds winter squash, peeled and thickly sliced (4 cups)
1/4 cup slivered raw almonds
12 large pitted prunes, halved
2 tablespoons slivered or grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon, or 1 preserved lemon)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup vegetable stock
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch saffron threads, crushed
Cayenne, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

For the couscous

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup couscous, preferably whole wheat
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. In a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until they’re golden and sweet, at least 10 minutes. Add the squash to the pot and stir to coat it with oil. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the squash turns brown at the edges.

2. Add the almonds, prunes, slivered lemon zest, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the almonds start to color. Add the vegetable stock, garbanzo beans, honey, cinnamon, and saffron and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and gently simmer for about 10 minutes, until the squash and vegetables are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste.

3. While the tagine simmers, bring the vegetable stock or water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Add the couscous, olive oil, and salt and stir. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Then uncover the pot and fluff the couscous with a fork. If necessary, cover to keep warm until the tagine is ready.

4. To serve, heap some couscous onto plates or into bowls, spoon the tagine over the top, and sprinkle with the parsley.

Adapted from New Vegatarian, Chronicle Books via Leite's Culinaria