Tunisian tagine with a cinnamon bread topping [Vegetarian]

Jaymi's Notes:
I don't know much about Tunisian food, so I have little to compare this dish to -- but I do know this is a fascinating and delicious meal. The way the layers and flavors are put together, it is kind of like having cheesy french toast over tomato-y bean soup. Sounds strange but it tastes delicious. This also comes together in about 30 minutes from start to finish, so it's a great option for busy weeknights. I wouldn't exactly call this healthy because of the topping -- which features a layer of cheese, a layer of bread crumbs, cinnamon and a layer of beaten eggs -- but you can lighten it up by using just thin layers of cheese and breadcrumbs across the top.

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Kelly's Recipe:

Now that I have a very beautiful Moroccan tagine, I am always looking for recipes to make in it. This recipe from Tunisia caught my eye as I was working on a series of street food for Planet Green. It turns out to be a very different thing from a Moroccan tagine. It is more like an frittata or open faced omelete than stew. My tagine is quite large, so I ended up making it in a smaller casserole dish. It turned out to be very simple and quite tasty and filling.The recipe I used called for chicken to be added, but I left it out and made a vegetarian dinner out of it. I used the cannellini beans, but I think chickpeas would also work very well here.

This recipe is from Street Food from Around the World by Troth Wells.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tunisian Tagine

1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp tomato puree
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup water
1 cup cannellini beans, cooked
1 tsp butter
3 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oven to 350F. In a skillet heat the oil and then saute the onion. When the onions are translucent, add the tomato puree, paprika and water and cook gently for a couple of minutes.

2. Add beans and simmer for a few minutes to heat them through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

3. Grease a baking dish with butter and pour the bean mixture into it.Then add a layer of cheese, parsley, breadcrumbs and cinnamon. Pour the beaten eggs on top of the cheese layer.

4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top of the tagine is lightly crisp and the eggs are set.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

3. Serve warm, cut into wedges.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: The Cooking Project | Weekday Vegetarian