Cooking with 1000000 ingredients: veggie tagine

So if you follow my Instagram, you know I made preserved lemons for the first time a few weeks ago. I read about the benefits of this Moroccan staple online and figured it was easy/intriguing enough to try, and most articles pointed me in the direction of tagine once they’re ready.

I’ve never had tagine before, but it’s a hearty Moroccan stew of a bunch of veggies, and meat if you prefer. Chopped up preserved lemons are a key ingredient here, and since I’m on a healthier kick I opted to just stick with veggies.

Note, this recipe I used made enough tagine to feed a small army. Seriously, I had to cook this in two batches because it wouldn’t fit in my pot. So for your sake, I’ve cut the proportions in half.

You will need:

    • 1 small acorn squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 medium parsnip, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1 medium turnip, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces (sensing a theme here?)
    • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1 inch pieces
    • 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped finely
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 small pinch saffron threads
    • 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 2 tablespoons harissa
    • 1/2 inch piece ginger, grated
    • 1/2 preserved lemon, peel only, chopped finely
    • 1/4 cup green olives, sliced

Note: for your preserved lemons, discard the pulp and use only the peel. You can make these at home by quartering the lemons, rubbing them generously with salt, and placing them into a mason jar or airtight jar. Pack the lemons in, pushing each down to release the juice, and let them sit on your counter for about three weeks.

Orrrrrrrrr you could just buy them at the store.

There are tons of ingredients, so prep is super crucial here. Mix your dry spices together in one bowl, and in another mix together the harissa, tomato paste, and grated ginger.

Peel the parsnips, carrots, and turnips, and cut them into 1 inch cubes. Cut your potatoes, squash, and eggplant into 1 inch cubes. If your bowl can fit everything, great! Add the chopped preserved lemon here too.

Keep your onions and garlic on one board together.

Heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven, and sweat your onions and garlic. After a few minutes, add your dry spices and stir the mixture together. It will smell amazing.

Add your tomato paste/harissa/ginger mixture and vegetable broth, and stir while the mixture incorporates. 

Finally, add all your veggies into the pot. Give it a nice stir, bring to a simmer, then cover and turn the heat down so it stays at a simmer. Don’t remove the lid! You want this to act the same way a tagine pot does, trapping as much condensation inside to help the veggies cook.

After about 25 minutes, season with salt and pepper as needed. The veggies should be fork tender – if they’re not, let it cook off a bit more.

Serve with couscous and dig in!

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