Sweet butternut squash with sour preserved lemons makes a fragrant and easy vegetarian tagine with herby couscous on the side.
For the butternut squash tagine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1cm/½in cubes
- 200g/7oz tinned chopped tomatoes
- 200ml/7fl oz vegetable stock
- 3 preserved lemons, rind only, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the herby couscous
- 400g/14oz couscous
- 600ml/1 pint 2fl oz hot vegetable stock
- 2 lemons, zest only
- 100g/3½oz toasted flaked almonds
- 1 tbsp each chopped fresh parsley, chives and coriander
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- small handful coriander, to garnish
For the butternut squash tagine, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further 3-4 minutes, or until softened.
Add the cayenne pepper, ground ginger, ground coriander, ground cumin, cinnamon stick and ground turmeric and stir well. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant.
Add the butternut squash cubes and stir well to coat the squash in the spices.
Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, preserved lemons and honey, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender but still holds its shape.
Meanwhile, for the herby couscous, place the couscous into a large bowl and pour over the hot chicken stock. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside until the couscous has absorbed all of the stock, about three minutes.
Fluff up the couscous using a fork, then stir in the lemon zest, flaked almonds, chopped herbs and olive oil until well combined.
Serve the couscous with the tagine on top and a little chopped coriander to garnish.