Tag Archives: Moroccan

Recipe of the Week – 30th April 2018 – Butternut Squash and Chestnut Tagine

There are times when only a spicy stew will do, and this recipe definitely hits the spot! I love making tagines, and playing around with the different combinations of vegetables and spices to try to create something a bit unique each time. The dried chestnuts in this were brought back from holiday last month in Madeira, but if you can’t get them dried, the vacuum-packed ones are very nice too.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced

2 red peppers, sliced

3 tbs olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 small red chilli, chopped

100g dried chestnuts

2 tbs Ras-el-hanout

1 tbs dried cinnamon

500ml good quality stock from bouillon

1 tbs honey or agave nectar

Small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

Method

1. Place the chestnuts in a small saucepan and cover with 300ml of the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add the oil and sauté the onions, garlic and chilli over a low heat for 5 minutes.

3. Add the chopped butternut squash and peppers to the pan, together with the spices, and stir well. Simmer for a further 5 minutes.

4. Add the remaining stock and the chestnuts with the cooking liquid, bring to the boil then simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.

5. Add the honey or agave nectar, season, and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

6. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of the coriander, and with rice or couscous.

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Recipe of the Week – 26th March 2018 – Moroccan Giant Couscous Salad

This is a great recipe if you’re looking for a filling but nutritious lunch idea, but don’t have a lot of time (I’m in this situation quite often!). I have based this on a traditional Moroccan side dish, but modified it a bit to include the flavours that I particularly like, and most variations work really well in a warm salad like this – the addition of pine nuts and roasted peppers is also recommended!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

300g Giant wholewheat couscous

600ml good quality stock from bouillon

2 small red onions, sliced

3 tbs olive oil

1 aubergine, cut into 2cm dice

50g sultanas

6 baby tomatoes, halved

1 tbs ras-el-hanout

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g fresh spinach leaves, rinsed

Method

1. Place the aubergine cubes in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, place the giant couscous in a large saucepan, add 400ml of the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Rinse and set aside.

3. Add the oil to a large saucepan (I used a wok), and gently sauté the onions and rinsed aubergine cubes for 10 minutes.

4. Add the spices, mix well to combine, and sauté for a further 5 minutes.

5. Add the couscous, chopped tomatoes and sultanas together with the remaining stock. Stir well and cover then simmer for a final 5 minutes.

6. Serve warm on a bed of spinach leaves and with flatbreads if preferred.

Recipe of the Week – 26th February 2018 – Simple Moroccan Roasted Vegetables

For me this time of the year is all about comfort food – it has to be warm and filling, but that doesn’t mean that winter food has to be plain and stodgy. This recipe is a good example of something that is easy to prepare and will provide a great meal that will keep the cold out and fill you up at the same time. It’s also great for using up any root vegetables that you may have left over, so can be different every time!

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g baby potatoes, halved

1 large aubergine, diced

2 red peppers, sliced

1 large courgette, diced

2 small fresh beetroot, peeled and diced

1 large carrot, sliced

1 x 400g tin good quality chopped tomatoes

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

5 tbs olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, peeled

2 tbs Ras-el-Hanout

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Salt and pepper to taste

Large handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Place all of the vegetables (not the chickpeas yet!) on a large baking tray. Drizzle the oil over, sprinkle with the spices, season then mix well to coat.

3. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring well halfway through.

4. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, stir well again, and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

5. Serve immediately, with rice, couscous or flatbreads, garnished generously with the chopped coriander.

Recipe of the Week – 23rd October 2017 – Aubergine Tagine


Anyone that has read my blog will soon realise that I do a lot of aubergine recipes (they are versatile, filling and very tasty, so what’s not to like?!) I also really enjoy making Middle Eastern and North African dishes, so this recipe was a bit of a revelation to me. Previously I have only made Tagines with some of the more sturdy root vegetables, such as butternut squash or sweet potato, but this dish is based upon one that uses baby aubergines, which I couldn’t get hold of at the time, although the quartered  whole ones give it a really nice, silky texture. The perfect comfort food!

Serves 6

Ingredients 

6 medium aubergines, quartered lengthways

4 large onions, halved then finely sliced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tbs olive oil

2 red chillis, deseeded and finely sliced

3 tsp cumin seeds

3 tsp coriander seeds

4 tsp sugar

3 x 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes

Small handful each of fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Place the aubergine quarters in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, place the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat then add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

3. Put the cumin and coriander seeds in a small frying pan and dry toast gently for 1 minute before crushing in a pestle and mortar.

4. Add the crushed seeds, chilli and sugar, fry for a further minute then add the aubergines and stir to coat thoroughly.  Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. 

5. Season to taste, stir in the fresh herbs and serve with couscous or fłatbreads.

Recipe of the Week – 10th July 2017 – Moroccan Aubergine and Potato Rice


I’m not sure where I got the inspiration for this recipe from – I think it was equal parts my love of aubergines and Moroccan spices, and what was available in the fridge at the time! Hopefully the end result is more than the sum of its parts though. I personally found it very satisfying and filling and will probably be making it again very soon!

Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a side

Ingredients

3 large aubergines, cut into 1cm thick slices, then halved

100g baby potatoes, cut into wedges

2 onions, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

5 tbs olive oil

2 tbs Ras-el-hanout

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp cumin seeds

200g long grain or basmati rice, rinsed

1 x 400ml tin on coconut milk

50g sultanas

Handful of fresh pistachios 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. In a large bowl, add the aubergine slices, potato wedges, onion, garlic and spices. Drizzle the oil over and mix well. Place on a large baking tray and put in the oven for 25 minutes until brown.

3. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a large saucepan of slightly salted boiling water until soft (approx. 12 minutes). Drain, rinse and return to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and sultanas, season, and simmer gently for 5 minutes until sticky.

4. When cooked, add the vegetables to the rice, stir well, sprinkle the pistachios over and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Week- 10th April 2017 – Moroccan Vegetable Gratin


This recipe is a spicy variation on the traditional French gratin, substituting spices for some of the herbs, and as such is a sort of tagine/gratin hybrid! This is really simple to prepare and make, and is open to lots of changes of ingredients to suit whatever is in the fridge or cupboard!

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

3 tbs olive oil

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and finely sliced

2 aubergines, sliced

3 large carrots, peeled and sliced at 45 degrees

2 large onions, sliced

100g quinoa, rinsed (red split lentils work well too)

500ml good quality vegetable stock from bouillon 

2 tbs ras el hanout

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 tsp dried cumin

2 tsp Herbes de Provence

50g mature cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, and add the aubergine slices. Gently fry until lightly brown only (3 minutes or so each side). Set aside.

3. In a large casserole dish, layer the sweet potatoes, onions, carrots and aubergine slices in alternate layers until used up. 

4. Sprinkle the quinoa, herbs and spices over the top then pour over the hot vegetable stock to ensure all is mixed through the dish. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 25 minutes.

5. If topping with cheese, add this after 20 minutes, and continue to bake uncovered for 5 minutes until brown.

6. Serve immediately with couscous, fresh bread and a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 4th July 2016 – Moroccan Butternut Squash Couscous


This is a really simple but very satisfying recipe that makes a great quick lunch. I made this as an alternative Sunday lunch to give me a break from gravy! This is very nice the next day served cold, too.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2 cm dice

300g dried couscous

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs ras-el-hanout

1 tbs ground cumin

1 tbs ground cinnamon

1 pomegranate, seeds removed

300ml vegetable stock from good quality bouillon 

2 tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped

200ml natural yoghurt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Place the butternut squash cubes in a large bowl, add the oil and spices and mix together well. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until soft.

3. In another large bowl, add the coucous and stock, mix together well and leave for 10 minutes. Mix in the chopped parsley and season.

4. Finally, mix together the butternut squash and couscous, and serve with drizzled yoghurt and the pomegranate seeds.