Moroccan Stew with Butternut Squash, Red Potatoes and Brined Green Olives

Photo by Deb Perelman of The Smitten Kitchen


This week's farm share from Glade Road Growing includes butternut squash, so I thought I'd do another Moroccan stew.  The original recipe calls for preserved lemons, which, if bought prepared  are pricey.  Making them takes three weeks or four weeks, if you want to use this recipe or this one. Since Perelman says they're an acquired taste which she hasn't yet acquired,  I substituted lemon juice.

I also used a combination of lentils and chickpeas, rather than only chickpeas. While couscous is traditional,  it's a pasta.  I prefer to use quinoa, which is gluten free and higher in protein.

I also roasted the potatoes and butternut squash to deepen the flavor.  If you want to cut out this step, you can add them at the beginning of the boiling time. 

Serves 6


1 and 1/2  cup  dried chickpeas, cooked
2/3 cup raw quinoa, cooked
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided in half
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups of  tomatoes, diced (canned is fine, if they are out of season)
3 cups water
1 pound butternut squash, cut in half, strings and seeds removed
3/4 pound small red potatoes, cut in half
1 1/2 cups green lentils, rinsed well
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup brined olives, pitted. (Green Cerignolas are nice.  If you prefer, substitute Kalamatas.)
1/3 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cups of sliced almonds, toasted


1.  To cook chickpeas,  in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom and a tight-fitting lid, cover with an 3 cups of water, and and bring to a boil.  Rinse.  Return to pot, add ½ teaspoon sea salt and bring again to a boil again.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let stand over night or for at least one hour. Rinse a second time, add three cups of water and bring to a boil again and simmer on low heat until soft, about 1 hour.

2.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees, F. Coat the  squash and potatoes in one tablespoon of the olive oil and roast, cut side down  on a cookie sheet in preheated oven until soft, about 30 minutes.  Cook until you can handle and then dice.

3.  To make the stew, heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat and saute onions and garlic few minutes until the onions are softened.  Stir in cumin, cinnamon,  sea salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and turmeric.  Cook a few minutes until spices are fragrant. Add cooked chickpeas, tomatoes, water and lentils.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat.

4.  To cook quinoa, bring 2  cup of water to a boil.  Add the 2/3 cup of  raw quinoa and return
to boil.  Take off stove and rinse well.  Add back in a scant 2 cups of water and return to stove and    bring to a boil.  Turn down to low.  Cover.  Cook 15 minutes.  Turn off heat.

5.  Add roasted squash and tomatoes to the stew mixture and cook for an addition 5 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked. Stir in lemon and olives.

6.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork and divide among six bowls.  Ladle the stew on top, garnished with cilantro, almonds and with greek yogurt, if desired.

This would be good served with steamed or braised greens, such as kale, tatsoi or spinach.