I love to experiment with different flavors, ethnic cuisines & foods from all over the world. After hearing Cat Cora talk about a tagine being one of her fav dishes, I had to see what all the hoopla was about. I researched online & found a lot of tagine recipes, then took the general principles and adapted the recipes to my own taste and food preferences. I made it first with beef, as I had friends coming for dinner who think that it isn't a meal if there isn't meat! The second time, I went vege. Guess what? I preferred the vege version! Seriously yummy - the heat, sweet, spices & acid all combine together to make a wonderful dish that has a just a bit of heat (you can add more if you like). You could eat the whole pot and still not go over dieting limits, as it is wholly plant based & includes whole grains & legumes. Super good & reallllly super good for you. High in anti-oxidants and fiber!
Heat oil in the bottom of a large Dutch oven, tagine clay pot (or slow cooker). Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, celery, chili (if using) & carrot and cook in the oil until beginning to get translucent & most of the water has cooked off. Add the spices, which have been premixed in a small bowl & stir. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, vege broth, bouillon paste, wine & lentils (if using). Wash & cut the leaves off the cilantro, chop & reserve to top the tagine with prior to serving. Rough chop the stems of the cilantro & add to stew. Allow to cook 15-20 minutes while you prep the rest of the veges. Add ‘shrooms, eggplant, squash, sweet potato, dried fruit, honey, lemon zest & lemon juice. Add pepper (I used about a Tb of the Tellicherry regular grind). Cover & cook on low simmer for ~ 30-45” until veges are tender. Taste & adjust seasonings if necessary – add salt and if needed for heat, chipotle powder or cayenne. Serve over whole grain or couscous with side of flatbread, toasted in oven with a little EVOO. A handful of toasted slivered almonds on top give a nice crunch & a Tb or so of chopped fresh cilantro gives it a wonderful freshness. Freezes well & keeps well in fridge for at least a week. A bit of chopping’s involved, but it makes a boatload – make it, freeze in individual containers already over the grain & you have an instant, homemade quick frozen meal!
A tagine pot is a wide, shallow clay pot with a domed top that is used to cook a traditional tagine low & slow. I did mine in my Dutch oven. It came out great. You can change up any of the veges in this to suit your preference. Don’t have something? Leave it out. Like something better? Add it in. The possibilities are endless………….
This recipe was provided by J Kelly T from Ft Myers