Saturday, 12 November 2016

Braised squash with chickpeas and harissa

Yotam Ottolenghi’s braised squash with chickpeas and harissa.

 Yotam Ottolenghi’s braised squash with chickpeas and harissa. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay
This is a little meal in itself that packs a bit of a punch and a lot of comfort. If you want to bulk it out, serve with rice. Harissa can be quite fiery, so you may prefer to use a bit less than suggested. Serves four.
60ml olive oil
2-3 banana shallots, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
4 whole cardamom pods, crushed to release the seeds, pods discarded
Salt and black pepper
2½ tbsp harissa paste 
½ tsp rose water
500ml vegetable stock
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 4cm dice (800g)
400g tinned cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
7 dried apricots, thinly sliced
20g preserved lemon skin, roughly chopped
10g coriander leaves, roughly chopped
150g Greek yoghurt
Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. In a large saute pan for which you have a lid, heat two tablespoons of oil on a medium-high flame. Add the shallots and fry for seven to eight minutes, stirring every so often, until soft and caramelised, then stir in the garlic, spices, half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper, and fry for two minutes longer. Add the harissa, rose water, stock and 200ml water, bring to a boil, then lay in the squash pieces in a single flat layer. Turn down the heat to medium, cover and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, until almost cooked through.
Take the pan off the heat and transfer the squash to a medium bowl, using a slotted spoon. Add two tablespoons of oil, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and some pepper to the bowl, mix to coat, then spread out the squash on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Roast for 20 minutes, until golden-brown and cooked through, then leave to cool.
While the squash is roasting, tip the chickpeas, apricots and preserved lemon into the stock left in the pan, bring to a boil on a medium-high heat and cook for about 12 minutes, until the sauce reduces a little and becomes thick and rich. While they’re cooking, crush a few chickpeas with the back of a spoon, to thicken the mix further.
To serve, divide three-quarters of the squash between individual bowls and spoon over the chickpea sauce. Top with the rest of the squash, sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve at once with some yoghurt alongside.

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