Pumpkin and Greens Tagine

It’s December 8 and my first post of the month. I think this is the longest I’ve gone without blogging/cooking anything of note for a long while!

It’s good to be back. And with a bang, too. This dish is special. I ripped this recipe from my Boston Globe magazine with haste because a) i’ve been badly wanting to go to the restaurant that yields the original dish (Baraka in Central Sq., Cambridge), b) it looked so darn good.

I took a few liberties with the recipe. First, the recipe features swiss chard and i kinda abhor swiss chard. This, and anything in the beet family, tastes like formaldehyde to me. So I swapped it out for a bag of “southern greens” from Trader Joe’s (I love this stuff — I buy it all the time and just saute in olive oil with garlic. So good), which is just chopped collard greens, turnip greens, and spinach.  This was a good move. Second, I didn’t have cilantro and it’s been rubbing me the wrong way lately so I just omitted it. Also a good move. Third, I used butternut squash instead of proper pumpkin, but I think there is so little difference there anyway. Try this — it’s amazing!

Pumpkin and Greens Tagine
Serves 4
Recipe by Just the Tip / Inspired by Baraka Cafe via Globe Magazine

Here’s what I used:

  • 1 2-3 pound butternut squash
  • 1 lb bag of chopped mixed dark greens (or 1 bunch of anything hearty that you like…kale would work here too)
  • Peel of 1/2 lemon, cut into strips
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 7 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Here’s what I did:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. While the oven is preheating, prepare the butternut squash. I just cut it in half the short way and peel it with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. Scoop out the guts and cut it into 2-inch chunks.
  2. Arrange the squash on a sheet pan and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes until just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Once boiling, add the lemon rind and blanch for a minute or so. Remove from the water and reserve. Bring the water back up to a boil. Once boiling again, season the water with a little salt and add the greens in. Blanch the greens for 1 minute and then drain into a colander.
  4. Once the squash is tender, take it out of the oven and raise the oven temp to 400.
  5. In a dutch oven, heat a couple tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, season with a pinch of salt, and saute for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden.
  6. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  7. Add in the pumpkin, greens, lemon peel, chickpeas, and 1 1/4 cups water.
  8. Cover the pot and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes.  Once ready, stir in the parsley and serve with couscous. Heavenly.
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