I love a quick, easy weeknight meal. I love a quick, easy weeknight meal that tastes great and shakes my regular rotation of flavors up even more. I don’t cook with cinnamon often. It used to scare me a bit. I had never mixed what I considered a traditionally “sweet” spice with my regular savory ones until recently. I branched out last month with Chicken Tikka Masala and haven’t looked back.
Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Couscous and Mint Gremolata
via garlic shoots
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch diagonals
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
Large pinch saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup peas, frozen or fresh
1/2 pound spinach, washed, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup plain couscous
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, 5 quarts or so, over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 or 8 minutes. Watch so they don’t burn. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in carrots, tomatoes, saffron, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, and ginger. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the beans, salt, pepper, and 1 3/4 cups of water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the peas and spinach, and cook uncovered for another 2 minutes, just until the spinach is wilted.
Heat the additional oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and stir until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.Meanwhile, bring 1 1/3 cups of water to a boil. Sprinkle salt over couscous. Pour water over couscous and cover. Let the couscous stand for 5 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Make the gremolata by combining the mint, parsley, garlic and lemon zest in a small bowl. Divide the stew evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Dish couscous into the center of each bowl (a half-cup measure works wonders). Sprinkle gremolata over each bowl of stew.