I’ve always thought cinnamon a delightful spice for savory dishes. It explains why garam masala is one of my favorite spice blends, and Indian food perhaps my favorite cuisine. But Morocco…Moroccan food is at least a close second, if not vying for first.
I feel as though this last week should have been busier. All around me, people were busy with their many responsibilities, while I finally got time to sit down and start The Davinci Code, which I still haven’t read. I know this coming week will be a different story; hopefully I’ll get sucked into it tonight and be finished by tomorrow morning. Though going to bed in the wee hours of the morning sounds a little anti-productive.
And just as surely as next week will be busy, next year will be busier. I can already see SAT’s, college, and my future as a black hole in front of me. Though I dread it, I also relish it. It’s one of my few things not yet planned, not yet given a few specific hours of the day to work on. In a few years, I could be going on a trip to Morocco. Maybe I’ll live out my life there, enjoying their tagines, preserved lemon, and the sweet smell of cinnamon.
Moroccan Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew
Adapted from Aida Mollencamp
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1, 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 pound butternut squash, diced large (1-inch cubes or larger)
3/4 pound red potatoes, or new potatoes, diced large or halved, respectively
3 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
Zest of one small lemon + juice of half a lemon +1/2 teaspoon salt (or half a preserved lemon)
1/2-3/4 cup halved brined green olives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Toasted sliced almonds
Plain greek yogurt/unstrained yogurt
Quinoa or couscous (if you can eat it)
Sauté onion, garlic, cumin, cinnamon stick, and a good bit of freshly ground pepper in butter and olive oil over medium heat for five minutes. Add squash, red potatoes, diced tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking until almost tender. Add chickpeas and cook until the the vegetables are tender and chickpeas are creamy. Add green olives and lemon juice mixture. Simmer a minute or so more so the flavors meld. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with garnishes over quinoa or couscous.