This is a delicious and healthy vegetarian lunch or dinner that needs little more than a crisp salad on the side. The good thing is you can prepare as much as possible in advance and serve at room temperature. Please remember that the mung beans will need soaking overnight.
- Heat the oven to 200, 180 fan.
- Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place face down on a baking tray. Rub a little bit of olive oil over the skins and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Bake in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes until tender.
- Cut the woody stems off the fennel and cut in half lengthwise. Melt the butter in a frying pan and when it starts to sizzle, add the fennel cut side down. turn the heat down to medium and let the fennel cook for around 15 minutes, turning every so often so each side gets nice and golden.
- When the fennel has started to caramalise, add the stock and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, or some tin foil and let it cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook uncovered for another 5 minutes until the stock has almost all evaporated and the fennel is almost cooked through but still retains some bite.
- Wash the mung beans and cover with plenty of cold water. Boil for around 15 minutes until they are cooked through but not soft.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add to the pan with the ras al hanout and a pinch of salt. Cook until the chickpeas are nicely coated in the spiced onions and warmed through, then stir in the mung beans and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Chop the braised fennel into bite size pieces and add to the bowl.
- For the spiced date dressing; whisk all the ingredients together. Make the tahini dressing by combining the tahini with the yogurt, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Add a little bit of cold water and keep stirring until you achieve a pouring consistency.
- To assemble the dish; pour the spiced date dressing over the stuffing mixture. Add the coriander and stir through. Transfer the sweet potato to a plate flesh side up and make a deep cut down the centre to make a hole for the stuffing. Spoon a generous amount of the stuffing into each potato half, then drizzle the tahini dressing liberally over the top. Serve any remaining tahini in a bowl on side.