While Thanksgiving is perhaps the most traditional meal we’ll enjoy over the holiday season, it need not be boring! When selecting recipes for your the Thanksgiving feast, it’s actually a good idea to include dishes with an array of different textures, colors and temperatures. Not only will your guests find the meal more satisfying and enticing, chances are they’ll eat less. Furthermore the variety of colors and addition of interesting side dishes like this Moroccan-spiced stew will make the holiday a healthier one too!
A delightful medley of fall flavors vegetables and warm spices such as cinnamon, paprika and cumin all contribute to the aroma and flavor of this hearty and unique stew. It’s perfectly fine to add other vegetables but best to avoid strongly flavored ones such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale or any other vegetables won’t benefit from the longer cooking time.
This recipe calls for preserved lemons and I strongly recommend you use them. I have found them at Whole Foods and Sur la Table as well as my neighborhood Armenian grocery. Even if you have to make them, it’s well worth it!
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 stalks celery, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Sultanas (golden raisins)
2 cloves garlic, bruised with knife
1 leek, trimmed to the white portion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
8 ounces Yukon Gold or other potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
8 ounces pumpkin (cooking variety such as sugar pumpkin), peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
8 ounces rutabagas, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
8 ounces turnips, peeled, cut into ¾-inch cubes
2 tablespoons high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
1 (28 ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes with juices
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
2 tablespoons minced preserved lemons (optional)
1. Combine celery, carrots, Sultanas, garlic, leek, pumpkin, potatoes, rutabagas, turnips and olive oil in a large Dutch oven or other ovenproof pot. Add the tomatoes, cumin, paprika and salt. Fold together until blended. Tuck in the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.
2. Cover and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 450 degrees. Bake without disturbing for 1 and 3/4 hours.
Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and preserved lemons.
Serve hot from the oven or at room temperature.
Enjoy! Until next time Happy Eating!