Foodie Blogroll

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

I recently  saw a vegetable tagine on a restaurant menu it sounded so delicious that I just had to try it. Unfortunately, the restaurant dish didn’t live up to my expectations but it did inspire me to try my own variation. Tagines, a boldly spiced dish originating in North Africa, are named after the the clay, cone shaped dish that they are traditionally cooked in. Tagine recipes vary greatly but are typically a one-pot stew of meat or vegetables slow cooked in delightful African spice blend. My not-quite-authentic-but-still-delicious Moroccan Vegetable Tagine includes eggplant, squash, and fennel cooked in a tomato sauce infused with cinnamon, coriander, cumin and more. Instead of a tagine pot, I used a dutch oven to slowly roast the vegetables but the result was still flavorful and amazing! The tagine is delicious on it’s own as a side dish or you can serve over rice to turn it into an entr√©e.

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine
Gluten Free
Serves Two
Click Here for a Printable Version of Recipe

moroccan veg tagine

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of a red bell pepper, seeded chopped
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons double concentrated tomato paste (like the the kind by Amore )
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
Dash of cayenne, to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
3 Roma tomatoes, stems removed and diced
1 baby or graffiti eggplant (about 12 ounces), ends removed and chopped
1/2 of a zucchini, diced
1/4 of a small fennel bulb, finely diced
4 ounces butternut squash, peeled, seeded & diced (about 1/2 of a cup once diced)
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 cup cannellini beans, drained
4-5 kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour olive oil into a large dutch oven and heat to medium low. Add bell pepper and cinnamon stick and saute for 5 minutes.

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2. Add garlic clove to dutch oven and saute for 1 minute.
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3. Stir in tomato paste, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, spices (cayenne, paprika, cumin, coriander), and salt. Toast spices for 1-2 minutes then stir in 1/4 cup of  vegetable broth to deglaze the pan, being sure to scrape the bottom of dutch oven with your spatula to pick up all of the flavoring.

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4. Add Roma tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, fennel, and squash to Dutch oven, stirring to coat the vegetables in spices. Pour in remaining 1 cup of broth and crushed tomatoes. Use your fingers to lightly crush saffron threads, then add to pot and stir to combine all ingredients.

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5. Place lid on Dutch oven and transfer to oven. Bake tagine for 42-46 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and vegetables are tender.

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6. Remove tagine from oven and discard cinnamon stick. Stir in cannellini beans and olives, then recover pot and return to oven for 3-5 minutes or until all ingredients are heated through.

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7. Divide tagine between two bowls, then garnish with parsley and fennel fronds. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information--approximately 260 calories per serving (1/2 of the recipe)

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