Thursday, November 22, 2012

kabocha squash and chickpea stew

This stew is a little spicy, a little sweet, a little warm and a lot comforting. I've got a big weekend coming up, so I wanted to make something that keeps well in the fridge for a few days - veggie stew is great for that. You can eat it with couscous, quinoa, rice or pita bread. Kabocha squash is a Japanese squash with smooth, sweet flesh. You could substitute an acorn squash or a small butternut squash. Next time you're at the market, try a new squash! Here's some varieties to get you started.

kabocha squash and chickpea stew
Inspired by this recipe. Makes 4 large servings.

1 kabocha squash
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 dried chili
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can whole tomatoes (san marzano or fire roasted would be great)
1 bunch spinach, rinsed and chopped roughly
handful of cilantro, chopped

1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
salt, olive oil
plain yogurt, to serve

Preheat oven to 400. Peel and chop squash into 1 inch chunks. Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread on a cookie sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until squash is golden and tender.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pot. Add diced onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Crumble dried chili in as well. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Add chickpeas, tomatoes and juice, crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you add them to the pot. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 20 minutes on low heat.

When the squash is done, add to the pot. Add chopped spinach and cilantro, and cook for another 5 minutes, until greens are wilted.

To make the couscous, pour boiling water over couscous. Cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Fluff again.

Serve stew on top of couscous, with a scoop of plain yogurt on the side.

(Here's some other things I've been cooking lately: Cocoa Meringues from Martha Stewart, Fried eggs in a waffle maker, inspired by the Waffleizer site, I'm rediscovering toast soldiers and soft boiled eggs, and a great invention from last week - buns stuffed with sautéed apples, onions, maple mustard, maple syrup and fennel seeds.)

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