The Holiday feast wouldn’t be complete without some pumpkin! One great way to prepare it, if not making pies, is a tagine, a Moroccan stew traditionally cooked in an earthenware pot of the same name. We love how figs lend themselves so well to the spicy-sweet taste of this sublime North African dish.
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· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 small sugar or pie pumpkin, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
· 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced thin
· 1 large onion, diced
· 3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
· 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
· 1 teaspoon ground cumin
· 1 teaspoon ground coriander
· ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
· ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
· 1 cup tomato, diced
· 2 cups vegetable broth
· 1 cup (1 package) Fruit Bliss® Turkish Figs
· ½ teaspoon maple syrup
· 1 can chickpea, rinsed and drained
· Sea salt, to taste
· To serve: cooked couscous, toasted almond, fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a 3-qt pot over medium heat. It’s important not to use a pot too big, as you need all the ingredients cozy and close together, as if you would be using an authentic tagine clay pot.
Add the pumpkin, fennel, onion, garlic, ginger, and 2 teaspoon sea salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the vegetables don’t burn. The goal here is to create moisture, so that the vegetables get soft and aromatic, without browning.
Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, tomato, vegetable broth, figs, and maple syrup. Bring the tagine to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered for 20-30 minutes, until the liquid has thickened and the vegetables are tender. About 5 minutes before the end of cooking, add the chickpeas. Mix well, taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Heat through. Serve over couscous and garnish with almonds and cilantro.