Celeriac, chickpea & saffron with maftoul recipe image

Print Celeriac, chickpea & saffron with maftoul

This is a Moroccan-style dish, lightly spiced with a slight chilli heat. Celeriac has a fragrant, nutty, celery-like taste and is great at soaking up surrounding flavours. When peeling celeriac I find that a sharp knife is more convenient than a peeler as the root end can be gnarled, tangled and hard to navigate. A little wastage is acceptable for a clean result.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • Plain oil, e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 celeriac
  • 25g root ginger
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 150g maftoul
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 30g parsley
  • 1 orange
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Peel and finely slice the onion. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 10 minutes until beginning to soften. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop/ crush the garlic cloves.
  2. Peel the celeriac, wash it well and dice it into 2cm cubes. Peel and finely grate/crush the ginger. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Put a kettle of water on to boil. Add the celeriac, garlic and 2 teaspoons of the ginger into the pan with the onions.
  3. Fry gently for 3-4 minutes before adding the cumin, saffron, bay, harissa, tomatoes and half of the cinnamon stick. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the pan.
  4. Add enough water to just cover everything, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 25 minutes, until the celeriac is tender. Meanwhile, put the maftoul in a saucepan. Crumble the stock cube into 400ml of boiling water, add to the maftoul.
  5. Stir and simmer on a very gentle heat for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Most of the liquid should be absorbed. While everything cooks, wash the remaining parsley, shake it dry, remove the leaves and chop them finely. Zest and juice the orange.
  6. When the celeriac is cooked, adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and a dash of orange juice. Finish with a few pinches of orange zest and the parsley. Serve together with the maftoul.

Cooks notes

Maftoul is like large couscous. It soaks up liquid and flavour as it cooks. It should absorb most of the stock. It is perfect warm as a side or cooled and used as the base for a robust salad.
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