We attended the Delaware Wine and Beer Festival last week and, aside from some new beverages, we discovered a new farm – Suzuki Farms in Delmar, Delaware. They specialize in Japanese vegetables.
We picked up some eggplants and some delicious salad dressing that his wife made. I used a could of the eggplants with a butternut squash from my garden in a moroccan stew (tagine).It is called a tagine because of the traditional dish is it cooked in. I happen to have a tagine, but it can calso be made in a dutch oven or other covered pot. I do love my tagine, but have still have to learn how much to cut back the liquid, I tend to have overflows every time I use it. Oh well, some day I will figure it out. Why do I ove it, the stews stay incredibly moist and tender.
To add some texture, and additional flavor, to the stew, you make a mix for parsley, almonds and raisins.
Put it all together and serve it on top of couscous. A tasty treat for an autumn evening.
Eggplant and Butternut Squash Tagine with Chickpeas and Raisins
From Williams -Sonoma
1 1/2 lb. butternut squash (from the garden)
1 lb. slender eggplant (locally grown)
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbs. ras el hanout (see recipe below)
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice and 1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from the garden)
1/2 cup sliced almonds (I only had slovered), toasted
1/4 cup raisins or currants
Peel and halve the butternut squash, scoop out the seeds and cut the flesh into 1-inch chunks.
Trim the eggplant and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the ras el hanout, turmeric and the 1/2 tsp. salt and cook for 1 minute.
Add the squash, eggplant, chickpeas, broth and lemon with salt and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the squash and eggplant are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, stir together the parsley, almonds and raisins.
Stir two-thirds of the parsley mixture into the tagine,
then sprinkle the remaining mixture on top. Serve immediately with couscous. Enjoy!
Ras El Hanout
from Gourmet April 1998
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients until combined well. Spice blend keeps in an airtight container at cool room temperature 1 month.