Difficulty Level: Easy
My son's girlfriend Becca gave me a tagine for Christmas which pleased me no end. A tagine is a traditional North African clay cooker with a wide, flattish base and a conical top, which keeps the moisture trapped inside the vessel. My tagine is a thing of great beauty and it now has pride of place on my kitchen shelf where I can enjoy looking at it, even when I'm not using it.
A tagine is a braise, often from Morocco, that is cooked slowly over a very low temperature and takes it's name from the cooker. Lamb and chicken recipes are commonly cooked with fruits such as apricots, apples, dates or prunes. This method of cooking allows for the use of cheaper cuts of meat, and it's normally cooked until the meat is falling away from the bone.
Because Becca is vegetarian, I decided to inaugurate my beautiful tagine with a vegetarian tagine. This made quite a lot and it was delicious the next day. If you aren't lucky enough to have someone wonderful give you a tagine, you can always make this in a big pot as a perfect One Pot Meal. This would also make a great economical dish university students.
|1 head||garlic, chopped|
|2 large||carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces, or about 1 1/2 cups cut baby carrots|
|1||celery rib with leaves, chopped|
|1 tablespoon||olive oil|
|1/4 cup||chopped parsley|
|1/2 cup||chopped cilantro|
|1 14 ounce||can diced tomatoes|
|3 cups||vegetable stock|
|1 14 ounce can||chickpeas, drained and rinsed well|
|1||red pepper, chopped|
|1 pound||butternut squash, cut into roughly 1 inch cubes|
|1 medium||eggplant, chopped into roughly 1 inch cubes|
|1/2 teaspoon||crushed red pepper flakes|
|1 box||prepared couscous|
- Heat up olive oil in large stew pot over medium-high heat. Add celery, carrots, onions and garlic. Stir for 1 minute, then turn heat down to medium. Let cook about 7 minutes. Add dry spices and let cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add lemon juice.
- Add parsley and 1/4 cup cilantro. Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Add in vegetable stock, chickpeas and butternut squash. Cook, simmering, 1 hour.
- Salt eggplant pieces, let rest 2 minutes then rinse well with water and add, along with crushed red pepper flakes, and chopped red pepper to stew.
- Chop up sultanas and add to stew. Cook additional 1 1/2, or until vegetables are tender. Add additional seasoning to taste. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup cilantro.
- Serve over prepared couscous.
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