From Ainsley Harriott’s ‘Mediterranean Cookbook’, this easy recipe features the soft, comforting spices that you would expect from a Moroccan kitchen – cinnamon, coriander, cardamon, tumeric and ginger. Warming and welcoming for winter, and a great vegan meal, served with crusty sourdough or, as Ainsley recommends, with lemon & pistachio couscous. Dairy & Wheat free.
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2-cm ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded, cut into 1.5-cm pieces
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
- pinch of saffron
- 500g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2.5-cm chunks
- 450g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5-cm chunks
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 50g sultanas
- a handful fresh coriander, chopped
- a large handful of baby spinach or chard leaves
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a deep heavy-based frying pan or casserole dish with a lid over a low/med heat.
- Fry the onion for 4–6 minutes until softened but not coloured.
- Add the garlic, ginger and pepper and cook for 2–3 minutes.
- Add the spices and cook for a further 2–3 minutes, stirring, until fragrant.
- Add the squash and sweet potato and stir well to coat in the spices.
- Pour in the stock, add sultanas and season generously.
- Increase the heat to medium and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.
- Wilt in the spinach leaves by laying on top of the closed dish for a minute, then stir through with half of the coriander.
- Sprinkle remaining coriander on top and serve with lemon & pistachio couscous, or crusty bread.
Growing squash: Spring, summer and Autumn 2020
In this year’s ‘lockdown project’, our new deer and rabbit proof vegetable garden, I took a chance by planting some ancient seeds, and also nurtured some very leggy looking rejects from a neighbour back to life. We were richly rewarded with a pink barrow full of beauties in the autumn, which we’re still enjoying in a myriad of ways..!
Squash plants put on a huge amount of growth in a very short time, so are hungry and thirsty and need to be well tended. Ours thrived in this year’s newly made pallet beds, filled with 100% home made compost and leaf mulch, which helps with the consistency, as well as the nutritional quality, of the growing medium. I find that a good rich compost, made up of a well rotted variety of organic matter is the best and cheapest way to feed hungry vegetables – no additional feeding is necessary. And shifting barrow loads of it from the compost area to the vegetable garden makes for a fine work out, too!
Squash plants need a sunny spot, to ensure that they will flower, fruit and ripen before the Autumn sets in. Ensuring the plants get sufficient water (routine and substantial, but not too frequent watering is better than regular ‘sprinkling’, as the former will encourage deeper root growth).
Josephine Nuese‘Anyone who thinks that gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January, with the dream’
Jenny Uglow‘We may think that we are nurturing our garden, but of course, it’s our garden that is really nurturing us.’
Images from the 2020 vegetable garden:
Albert Einstein:‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better’