Ras el hanout is a North African spice blend created by Moroccan spice dealers. Translated from Arabic it means “head of the shop” and it denotes all the best spices mixed together on any given day. Now, ras el hanout can be found almost everywhere and is made with much of its original ingredients: cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, etc. Use this warming spice blend on anything from vegetables to meats.
3 Tbsp. Moroccan olive oil, more for drizzling
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. ras el hanout
1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb.), peeled and medium diced
1 can (15.5 oz) garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 oz.) fire roasted diced tomatoes
½ cup pitted green olives
1 navel orange, juiced
1½ tsp. honey
1 cup couscous
2 cups baby spinach
Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat 2 Tbsp. of the Moroccan olive oil in a medium, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat until shimmering.
- Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and lightly browned on the edges, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ras el hanout and cook until very fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the sweet potatoes, garbanzos, tomatoes and their juices, olives, orange juice, honey, and 1½ cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Place the couscous in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Ladle out 1¼ cups liquid from the vegetables and pour into the couscous with the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Cover the bowl with a plate to cook the couscous, about 5 minutes.
- Stir the spinach into the vegetables, cover, and continue cooking until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Fluff the couscous with a fork and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the couscous between 4 plates, top with the stewed vegetables, and drizzle with more Moroccan olive oil to taste.