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meatless monday: moroccan vegetable stew

April 27, 2010

When I first told Mr. KC that we were going to start practicing meatless mondays, his response was “Is this because you want me to cook more often?  I will!”.

Convincing Mr. KC that meatless monday was not a punishment was going to require some solid recipes.  What really sold me on this recipe was the harissa yogurt and, in my opinion, it’s what brought the recipe together.  Without the yogurt, this is a vegan recipe, so if you’re really intent on making this vegan, go for a soy yogurt flavored with harissa as I just can’t think about this dish without the garnish.

I made a few adjustments to this recipe based on what I had on hand.  I couldn’t find turnips anywhere at the market, so I used celery root.  I also added some leftover red beans from another recipe and I’m glad I did.  Having another bean in the recipe added color and balanced the veg to bean ratio.   Finally, I served this on a bed of toasted couscous (toasted in oil and minced garlic before adding the water) and they went perfectly together.

KC note: This make a lot.  We had enough for dinner (with seconds!), two lunches and I brought in large container for a vegetarian colleague of mine.  When (not if) I make this again, I will definitely half the recipe.  Unless you’re feeding a vegetarian army, I suggest you do the same.

moroccan-style vegetable stew with harissa yogurt
adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2009


yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon harissa sauce**
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse kosher salt

**Harissa is a North African hot chili paste.  I found mine in the grocery store, so if you can find it in Switzerland, I’m certain you can find it anywhere!

vegetable stew:

  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-to 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4-pound celery root, peeled, cut into 1/2-to 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound spring onions or green onions, coarsely chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup red beans, drained, rinsed (optional)
  • 1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Make the yogurt sauce by mixing together all the ingredients and allowing to sit while you make the stew.  (This can be prepared up to 2 days in advance)
  2. Bring 8 cups salted water to boil in heavy large saucepan.
  3. Add carrots; cook until just tender, about 4 minutes.
  4. Using skimmer or large slotted spoon, transfer carrots to large bowl of ice water to freeze cooking process.
    funny side note:  using purple carrots creates a “stock” that looks like grape kool-aid and then dyes everything else purple.  You may be able to see in the photo that everything has a purple tint except for….the carrots, go figure.
  5. Return water to boil. Add celery root; cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.
  6. Again using skimmer, transfer celery root to bowl with carrots. Reserve cooking liquid.
  7. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot/dutch oven over medium heat. Add spring onions, garlic, parsley, mint and seasonings.
  8. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Cook until onions are soft, stirring often, about 8 minutes.
  9. Add wine; simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  10. Stir in flour.
  11. Add carrots, turnip, beans, spinach, and 2 cups reserved cooking liquid.
  12. Bring to simmer; cook until vegetables are heated through, adding more cooking liquid for desired consistency.
  13. Season to taste with coarse salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
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