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Autumn Recipes

Autumn Recipe – with Dan Trewartha, Head Chef.

One of the pleasures I get from cooking in autumn is appreciating the change in seasons from Summer to Winter. I look forward to more slow cooking, preparing long braises for cooler weather. This Tagine recipe is perfect for this, with it’s warming spices and hearty root vegetables, it will fill your house with amazing aromas, perfect for the Autumn climate.

Here’s a recipe from my Gaia Gratitude Cookbook:

Pumpkin, Chickpea Tagine, Couscous, Harissa

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cumin, ground
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp coriander, ground
  • 2 pinch cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric, or use 2 tbsp Ras El hanout spice mix
  • 1 cup pumpkin, diced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, diced
  • 400 g tin chickpeas, rinsed
  • 8 dried apricots halved
  • 1?2 Gaia preserved lemon, pith removed, fine sliced
  • 2-3 cups vegetable stock ( basics)
  • 2 onion diced
  • 2cm ginger minced
  • 6 garlic fine diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1x 400g tin crushed tomato
  • 1?2 cup green olives, pitted
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1 tbsp ghee, melted
  • 1?2 cup almonds, roasted, rough chopped
  • 1?2 bunch coriander leaves, picked washed and dried
  • Harissa (basics)
  • 1?2 bunch parsley chopped
  • To serve: Flatbread

Method

  1. Mix all spices with salt and pepper and combine well. Add 1 tsp of the spice mix to the couscous.
  2. In a large heavy based pan or enamelled cast iron pot, sweat garlic, onion and ginger in olive oil over low heat for 5 minutes. Add remaining spice mix, salt, pepper and cook for 7 minutes stirring regularly. Add vegetables, chickpeas, tomato and vegetable stock and mix well. Cover and bring to a low simmer. Add apricots and preserved lemon and cook covered for one hour stirring a few times. Add olives and cook for 5 minutes. Check vegetables are tender then turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes, partially covered.
  3. Meanwhile place couscous with spice mix, in a medium bowl. Add melted ghee, a drizzle of olive oil, and some sea salt and cracked black pepper. Mix very well with your hands, rubbing the oil into the couscous to coat each grain so it doesn’t go lumpy. Flatten the couscous and carefully pour in boiling water to cover the couscous by 3 mm. Immediately cover the bowl with cling wrap and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove cling wrap and fluff up couscous with a fork.
  4. Check the seasoning of the tagine, and add some lemon juice, sea salt, cracked black pepper, and stir through chopped parsley.
  5. In large warm bowls place some couscous and tagine. Scatter with almonds and coriander, and serve with harissa and flat bread on the side.
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