Photo: Kelly Rossiter
There were a couple of reasons I chose to add a tagine to my menu for my Thanksgiving dinner party. It cooked for a couple of hours on top of the stove so we got it started early and then ignored it. I had other things going into the oven, and the tagine didn't take up any valuable oven time.
There are lots of vegetables involved, so every mouthful is a little different from the last and I thought it would be a good companion to the other things on the plate. But really, I love my beautiful traditional tagine and it gives me the chance to put it on the table for company.Don't be put off by the long ingredient list, because this really isn't difficult to make and it's a great dish for a crowd. If you are making this in a regular pot, it will take significantly less time than in a traditional tagine, which is designed for slow cooking.You could make this earlier in the day and allow the flavours to meld and then just reheat it before dinner. I wouldn't make this the day before however, as the texture of the vegetables really changes, especially after slow cooking. I ended up adding vegetable broth to the leftovers and turned it into a vegetable soup.
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
This is delicious as a main course over couscous, although I served it just as a side dish for my dinner party with some harissa for additional spice. I also added a sweet potato to the recipe, because I think it works very well with the spices and adds a bit more body to the dish.
This recipe is from the website Chow.
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled, medium dice
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and sliced
1 cup canned diced tomatoes in juice
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
Pinch saffron threads
1 medium head cauliflower, large dice
1 1/4 cup green olives, such as picholine, pitted and halved
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 preserved lemon, seeds removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried currants
1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add onion, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and cinnamon stick, and toast until aromatic, about 1 minute; add ginger and garlic, and cook until just softened, about 1 minute more.
2. Add carrots and sweet potato, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, vegetable broth, and saffron and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, covered, until vegetables are almost completely cooked but still raw in the center, about 10 minutes.
3. Add cauliflower, olives, chickpeas, preserved lemon, and currants and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes more. Taste tagine and adjust seasoning if necessary.