A monster butternut squash and a touch of nostalgia over reminiscences of a trip to the feverish labyrinth of Marrakesh , fuelled the inspiration for this recipe. Though made in the quiet of my country home and not amidst the heaving, dusty, noisy and colourful passageways of the Moroccan city, the spices and sweet cinnamon air in my kitchen made me smile. The trip had been the exciting destination of a third date with a flashy American artist I’d met during my brief dalliances with Internet dating. All was going well until he failed to rally his adventurous side when grappling with the High Atlas mountains. This rather overshadowed the heroic fighting off of a team of heckling brothers who wanted rather too much pocket change to give us directions to our riad. God, poor boy didn’t stand a chance with my rather exorbitant expectations ways…alas hindsight is a blessing and a curse!
However, thankfully the taste for exotic floral spices remained, even if the man did not.
Moroccan Butternut Squash Parcels
Makes approx 10
Preheat oven to 375/190
1 1/2 cup squash 1/4 inch diced
1 small onion
3-4 dried organic apricots chopped to approx size of a raisin
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tbs fresh ginger chopped fine
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbs harissa paste
1 tbs pine nuts (toasted)
1 tbs orange zest
juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs olive oil
To make the pastry, follow the recipe here (scroll down the bottom) leave to rest in the fridge for 30 mins.
1. saute the onions in the oil for 8-10 minutes or until golden then add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes
2. add the spices and cook for 2-3 minutes
3. add remaining ingredients and stir fry to a minute or so
5. add the juice of half an orange, pop the lid on and simmer until the squash is soft but not mushy. Add a little water if needed.
6. take the pastry out from the fridge and roll out onto a floured board (or between two baking parchment sheets) to 1/8inch thick. Use a pastry cutter (4inch) to cut out circles then spoon a little of the mixture into the middle. Careful not to overfill. fold the pastry over the filling and press together. Pop onto a baking sheet covered with baking parchment (use the sheet you used to roll the pastry) and brush with vegan milk. Continue until all the mixture is tucked up in a blanket of pastry.
7.bake for 12-15 mins until browned and then turn over and bake again for a further 10 mins or until golden.
8.leave to cool on a wire rack slightly before serving.
They freeze well and are great to drag out for drinks and nibbles or as did I, consume when sitting all alone wondering perhaps just why you are still single!
bil hana wish shifa’