Tag Archives: Autumn

Moroccan-spiced chickpea and squash stew

The temperature has dropped, fall produce is showing up at markets, and I am starting to crave warm and spicy autumnal foods.  But there are still so many tomatoes to be eaten!  This recipe perfectly blends the summer and the fall, making it a delicious shoulder-season meal.  Grilling the squash lends a beautiful, smoky flavor to please carnivores and herbivores alike — but you could roast it as well.

I actually had some delicata squash pop up out of the compost in my garden in my old house.  I bought one more from the farmer’s market.  You could use any kind of orange winter squash.

This recipe is very flavorful but I think even those who prefer more mild dishes could handle it.  As strong and fragrant as the cinnamon will smell, it actually lends just a very subtle touch in the end and works perfectly with the cumin.

Moroccan-spiced stew with chickpeas and grilled squash
Adapted loosely from here, and probably some other recipes for inspiration; there are a lot of google results for “Moroccan squash stew.”

1 lb squash — butternut, acorn, delicata, or even pumpkin
4-6 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
2 cups chickpeas (or one can)
4-5 small red potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, slivered
1 bunch greens (I used Tuscan kale, but spinach would be find)
A few hot peppers (I had some cayenne but you could use jalapeno, serrano, etc)
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
bunch of coarsely chopped celery, carrot, onion for stock
salt and pepper to taste
For garnish:  bunch cilantro, plain yogurt, hot sauce
Quinoa (healthy) or couscous (authentic) for serving

Make the stock:  toss a few handfuls of coarsely chopped celery, carrots and onion (I actually freeze celery/carrots in bags for this  purpose), plus the cinnamon stick, some dried mushrooms, a few peppercorns, thyme, etc — whatever sounds good in a stock — and cover with water.  Simmer until reduced in half, about an hour or so.  You will need two cups of stock.  Strain and set aside.  (NOTE:  you can obviously buy pre-made stock, but if you’ve got time, may as well do it yourself).

Peel and seed the tomatoes.  I’ve always just blanched them, but recently came across this easier method.  Chop them coarsely.

To prepare the squash, peel them, cut in half, scoop out seeds, and grill.  They do not need to be fully cooked at this point, just charred.  When they are done and cool to the touch, dice them.

Saute the onion in a large pot over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes with the cumin (and cinnamon stick, if you are using premade stock).  Add the tomatoes, garlic, chickpeas, potatoes, peppers, and grilled squash.  Raise heat to medium-high and cook for another 5-10 minutes or so, until the squash and potatoes are somewhat cooked and the tomatoes are getting saucy.  Add the stock.  Add the greens.  Simmer everything together until it is flavorful and stew-y, about 30-60 minutes (the longer the better!).  Check periodically if you need to add more stock.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

When it is done, garnish with cilantro leaves, hot sauce, plain Greek yogurt, etc.  Serve over quinoa or couscous.

Mmmmmm.

 

 

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Simple butternut squash ravioli in a brown butter sauce

There are some dishes where I am happy to have endless leftovers.  And others where I just can’t get excited about what is remaining in the fridge.  Winter squash falls into the latter category.  Much as I love a nice squash recipe, for whatever reason, I only really enjoy it freshly prepared.

This recipe, however, was a great way to reinvent my leftover butternut squash into a new recipe that is fresh in my mind.  No more wasted squash!

Luckily, butternut squash cooks right in the microwave as well so this is an easy weeknight recipe no matter what.

As always, feel free to tweak the ingredients and ratios below to your taste.  Any kind of orange winter squash or pumpkin would work.  And try using ricotta or other cheese as well.

Butternut squash ravioli

Ingredients

For the filling:
1 cup winter squash puree
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Salt, pepper to taste

For the sauce:
1 stick of butter
Scant 1/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or pine nuts
1 cup assorted diced alliums such as onions, garlic, leeks or shallots (I think shallots would be best here, but I had leeks and garlic on hand so that is what I used)
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
Coarsely ground black pepper

Also:
Wanton wrappers

Mix together the cheeses, squash puree, salt and pepper by hand.  Scoop a dollop of the filling into the center of a wanton wrapper, wet the edges, and fold over into a triangle.  Be careful not to overfill!  Repeat until you have enough.

Boil them very briefly — 1-2 minutes — in a pot of well-salted water.

To make the sauce:

Toast the chopped nuts in a dry skillet until browned and fragrant.

Heat a stick of butter in a separate pan until it starts to brown.  Toss in whatever allium you are using, along with the coarsely ground pepper.  After a few minutes, add the sage leaves and cook until they have browned/crisped a bit.

Serve the sauce over the ravioli.  Obviously.

Yum!

-R