Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew

This gorgeous, colorful vegetarian supper recipe from The Epicurious Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2012) by Tanya Steel and the Editors of Epicurious can really brighten up a cold winter day. Butternut squash absorbs the laundry list of zingy spices, but if you’re sensitive to spices, feel free to cut the cayenne by half. Add chickpeas for a hearty, nutty dose of protein, and top with a cooling dollop of Greek yogurt.

Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew
Recipe from The Epicurious Cookbook

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

For Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of saffron
1 cup water
1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from 1½-pound squash)
2 cups ¾-inch cubes peeled carrots

For Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped peeled carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, divided

For Stew
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic; stir 1 minute. Mix in the paprika and the next 8 ingredients. Add 1 cup water, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Add the squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

For Quinoa
1. Rinse quinoa; drain. Melt the butter with oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot. Cover; cook until vegetables begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and turmeric; sauté 1 minute. Add the quinoa; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.

2. Rewarm the stew. Stir in half of the cilantro and half of the mint. Spoon the quinoa onto a platter, forming a well in center. Spoon the stew into the well. Sprinkle with the remaining herbs.