Tagine refers to the covered cooking vessel in which a dish like this would be prepared as well as the dish itself. You can use a heavy covered brazier or Dutch oven. This sweet and hearty version of a tagine has slow-cooked squash chunks bathed in spices, prunes, shallots, garbanzo beans, garlic, and almonds.–Robin Asbell
LC Brazier or Brassiere? Note
If you’re been sniggering and turning red ever since you read the word brazier above, kindly take note, the author said brazier, not brassiere. Although this ridiculously simple one-pot recipe is a sort of support for home cooks everywhere, so we can understand the connection. (If, like us, you’re wondering exactly what brazier means, the term originally referred to “a receptacle for burning charcoal or coal.” It later came to mean, well, we think you can easily figure that out given the context. Consider it an extension of your seventh-grade English class.)
Moroccan Squash Tagine with Garbanzos and Couscous
For the squash tagine
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 small shallots peeled
- 8 medium garlic cloves peeled
- 1 1/2 pounds winter squash peeled and thickly sliced (4 cups)
- 1/4 cup slivered raw almonds
- 12 large pitted prunes halved
- 2 tablespoons slivered or grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon, preferably organic)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch saffron threads crushed
- Cayenne to taste
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
For the couscous
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 cup couscous preferably whole wheat
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Make the squash tagine
- In a Dutch oven or other heavy pot with a lid, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until they’re golden and sweet, at least 10 minutes. Add the squash to the pot and stir to coat it with oil. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the squash turns brown at the edges.
- Add the almonds, prunes, slivered lemon zest, and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the almonds start to color. Add the vegetable stock, garbanzo beans, honey, cinnamon, and saffron and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and gently simmer for about 10 minutes, until the squash and vegetables are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
Make the couscous
- While the tagine simmers, bring the vegetable stock or water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Add the couscous, olive oil, and salt and stir. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Then uncover the pot and fluff the couscous with a fork. If necessary, cover to keep warm until the tagine is ready.
- To serve, heap some couscous onto plates or into bowls, spoon the tagine over the top, and sprinkle with the parsley.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Though most tagines take much longer to cook because of a meat component that requires slow cooking, this is a hearty vegetarian version that cooks up in less than 30 minutes. The combination of ingredients make this not only a very tasty dish, but a dish that fills the house with a wonderful aroma. The recipe calls for just 1 cup vegetable stock, although I ended up probably adding an additional 1/2 to 3/4 cup more, as the squash absorbs the broth quickly and will dry it out.
This is a very flavorful Moroccan squash stew. It’s easy to make and it’s a very wholesome one-pot meal. The smell of the
lemon rind permeates the entire stew. I added 3 cups stock instead of 2 1/2 and it still made a very thick stew. If you want a soup, then you need to add more stock. I served it over quinoa instead of couscous as that’s what I had handy in the pantry.
Originally published November 11, 2009