Sunday, October 14, 2012

quinoa with moroccan winter squash and carrot stew

In the past few years, trips home to my parents' house during the fall and winter months have almost certainly included time in the kitchen for my mom and I, making this dish together. An absolute favorite of ours, it has become a must-make staple on our menu and often, in fact, gets doubled in quantity just so we can savor it for several days each time. Fortunately for us, the spicy kick is far too much heat for my spice-phobic father, meaning one thing: more for us enjoy...a consequence we're more than willing to deal with. :)

This year, long work hours have me much too busy for any quick trips to my beloved central Virginia until Christmas. Feeling a tad homesick...and eager to savor my first taste of Morocco this season...making this dish wasn't an option. And oh boy, did it hit the spot. I do have to confess, though, that I came to one conclusion: as perfect as the recipe is, the secret ingredient is Mom's Company...because it somehow doesn't taste quite the same without it.

Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew
Yield: 4 servings

for the stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup water or broth (I use chicken broth for added flavor)
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
3 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2-pound squash)
2 cups 3/4-inch cubes peeled carrots
salt to taste

for the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water or broth (again, I use broth)
salt to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

for the stew:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 7 spices, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the water or broth and tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil. Add the squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season with salt. (Can be make 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

for the quinoa:
Using a large sieve, rinse the quinoa under cold running water, draining fully. Melt the butter with the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot. Cover and cook until the vegetables begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and turmeric and saute 1 minute. Add the quinoa and stir for 1 minute. Add the water or broth and bring to a boil, reducing the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

Rewarm the stew. Stir in half of the cilantro and salt to taste. Spoon the quinoa onto a platter, forming a well in the center. Spoon the stew into the well. Sprinkle the remaining cilantro over the top.

Adapted from The Flavors of Bon Appetit 2007


  1. Nothing can replace "mom" but I know this delicious looking/sounding stew brought you just a little closer for a few moments. I love how cooking together makes such special, fun memories!