Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Moroccan Kale and Squash over Couscous

I often have kale and winter squash on hand this time of year. I make a really yummy pasta dish with roasted squash, kale, bacon, and parmesan. We were hungry for that tonight, but we are eating pretty much vegan right now, and I didn't think my usual dish would come together very well without a cured pork product and parmesan reggiano.

But I thought Moroccan spices* and the tartness from dried fruit would tie the flavors together nicely. And they did. This recipe is vegan and very nutritious. And our baby liked it.

 *I use a Moroccan spice blend called ras el hanut, which is available at my grocery store from Spicely Organic Spices. If you can't find it, you can make your own; there are plenty of recipes for it online.

Moroccan kale and roasted squash over couscous

1 butternut squash
1 onion, sliced into half-moons
2 cloves garlic
a large pinch saffron, soaked in 1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon ras al hanut
1 cinnamon stick
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
1 15oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 handful dried cranberries
1 cup couscous
a handful shelled pistaschios

Peel the butternut squash, chop into bite size pieces, toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in the oven at 425F for about half and hour, until soft and the flavor deepened.

Meanwhile, start the onion softening in olive oil in a saute pan. When it is quite soft and a little brown, add the garlic and ras al hanut. When fragrant, add the kale and give it a quick saute. Add the tomaotes, chick peas, cinnamon stick, saffron and the soaking liquid, and dried cranberries. Stir in the roasted squash. Bring to a simmer, cover and turn the heat to low.

Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1 cup couscous and a bit of salt. Stir, cover, and remove from the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

To serve, dish couscous and top with the kale mixture. Top with pistaschios, a drizzle of olive oil and extra cranberries, if desired.
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