Winter Roasted Vegetables – Moroccan Style
By Nancy Eisman
Just the words “roasted vegetables” make me feel warm and cozy on a cold winter day. Not only does the roasting process turn up the temperature, some spicy harissa adds more heat and a North African flair to this recipe.
Roasting vegetables, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and any spice/herb you like is the easiest and most delicious way to turn someone into a veggie lover. All roots and greens of various colors and seasonalities will be fantastic.
The Moroccan Style is reflected in the veggies selected here. Sweet potato, zucchini, turnips, and white cabbage are classic, but the swapping/adding possibilities are infinite. Rutabaga, baby turnips, carnival or delicata or kabocha squash, tatuma or eight ball or yellow crookneck, purple or Charleston or Beauregard yams, Okinawa or jewel or organic baby or Japanese Murasaki sweet potatoes, savoy or red or napa cabbage… These should get you started on some optional ingredients.
Garbanzo beans are included, too, because they’re traditional and full of plant-based protein and fiber. You could throw in some raisins or currants for a bit of sweetness if you’d like. And, of course, you’ll want to cook up a pot of couscous with an herb and citrus twist to lay your vegetables and harissa upon. It’s inspired by that lime and cilantro rice that has been popular the last couple of years.
Scale the recipe down or up depending on how many people you’ll be serving, and don’t forget to factor in for leftovers. Reheat a bowl full the next day or enjoy at room temperature with a splash of olive oil and a dash of fresh lime juice.
Harissa Spiced Roasted Vegetables with Lime, Parsley and Mint Couscous
2 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
1 cup rutabaga, cubed
1 cup turnip, cubed
2 cups zucchini cubed
2 cups delicata or yellow squash, cubed
Melissa’s Steamed Garbanzo Beans
½ cup olive oil
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Hatch chile powder (hot)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup hot water
Lime, Parsley and Mint Couscous:
1 6-ounce package Melissa’s Couscous
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh mint, chopped
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon white pepper
Sea salt to taste
Fresh parsley and mint for garnish
To roast the vegetables, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Put the sweet potatoes, rutabaga, and turnips on baking sheet 1, and put the zucchini, squash, and garbanzo beans on baking sheet 2. Drizzle ¼ cup olive oil over each sheet and toss to coat. Place baking sheet 1 in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Put baking sheet 2 in the oven and continue baking about 15-20 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Turn off the oven.
To make the harissa, place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Adjust seasoning to your taste (more heat?) and add liquid if necessary to get a nice pouring consistency. Set aside.
To make the couscous, prepare according to the package directions. After the couscous has rested off the heat, fluff with a fork. Add in the lime juice, lime zest, fresh herbs, spices, and olive oil. Adjust sea salt to taste. Cover the pot for at least 5 minutes and then transfer the couscous to a serving platter. Add the roasted vegetables over the couscous and then pour the harissa over the vegetables. Garnish with fresh parsley and fresh mint.