Monday, November 23, 2009

Great Minds Think Alike: Chickpea and Winter Vegetable Stew

My friend, Christina, just sent this recipe to me the other day. Coincidentally, I had already flagged it in my most recent edition of Cooking Light. I have relished all of the recipes she has been sending me, and this incident clearly indicates that she and I are on the same wavelength with food!

While I had planned on trying this recipe, it is comforting to know that someone’s taste buds that I trust endorsed it! The recipe calls for Harissa, which is a fiery spice paste used in Moroccan cooking. Unable to find Harissa myself, and per Christina’s recommendation, I substituted with Sriracha. This dish is loaded with vegetables. It has great, warm flavors, and is spicy from the chili paste, and sweet from the honey.

Chickpea and Winter Vegetable Stew
(Adapted from Cooking Light, November, 2009)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup (1/2-inch) slices leek
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3 2/3 cups vegetable stock, divided
2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 cup (1/2-inch) sliced carrot
3/4 cup (1-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
1 tablespoon harissa
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound turnips, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges (about 2 medium)
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/3 cups uncooked couscous
8 lemon wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek; sauté 5 minutes. Add coriander and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 3 cups vegetable stock and the next 8 ingredients (through chickpeas); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and honey.

Remove 2/3 cup hot cooking liquid from squash mixture. Place cooking liquid and remaining 2/3 cup stock in a medium bowl. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

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