Vegetable tagine with couscous
Warming, colourful and beautiful to serve, Moroccan tagines are traditionally cooked with a meat stock or bones, but there is so much flavour in the slow-cooked vegetables that you really do not miss it here. You can vary the vegetable ingredients, but keep in mind the balance between sweetness (carrots, squash, sweet potatoes), creamy softness (courgettes, celeriac, jerusalem artichokes) and a little bite (turnips, kohlrabi).
the huge range of colours, flavours and textures that come from plant ingredients – spices, herbs, vegetables, nuts and legumes – is worth celebrating in its own right.
This recipe originally appeared in House & Garden magazine, photo courtesy of Simon Bajada
For the tagine:
- 6 large carrots, peeled
- 6 small turnips
- 2 medium kohlrabi
- 1/2 celeriac, peeled
- 1 swede, peeled
- 3 large courgettes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- Pinch saffron, lightly ground and steeped in 3 tbsp boiling water
- 1 tsp grated fresh turmeric or 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 100g dates, halved, stones removed
- 400g cooked chickpeas
- 400g couscous
- Large bunch. parsley and coriander, chopped
- Harissa (optional)
- Cut the vegetables into large chunks, except the courgettes. In a large, low-sided pan, heat the oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, fry until soft and a little coloured. Then add the cinnamon, ginger and half a tsp freshly ground black pepper and cook for a minute while stirring. Add the saffron, turmeric, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, celeriac and swede, and stir to coat.
- Cook for a few minutes, then add the whole courgettes, dates and chickpeas.
- Season generously with salt and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes until all the vegetables are completely soft. Cut the courgettes into chunks and return them to the pan.
- Prepare the couscous according to packet instructions, but use the liquid from the tagine instead of water (top up with boiling water if needed).
- Make a bed of couscous and arrange the vegetables over it, then sprinkle with fresh herbs.
- Serve with harissa for those who enjoy a fiery kick.