Vegetable Tagine with Fluffy Couscous
Traditionally, a Moroccan tagine is cooked in its namesake cone-shaped vessel. But you don’t have to own a tagine to make a similar, delightfully spiced dish. This vegetable tagine from Jamie Oliver’s Ultimate Veg will check the same boxes.
“In the summer, I grow most of these vegetables,” Oliver writes, “and I’m always eager to pick, wash and race to cook this dish. The flavor is just extraordinary with tender, delicate vegetables.” Luckily, you don’t have to have a flourishing garden (just a well-stocked grocery).
“It’s delicious served with harissa rippled yogurt,” he continues. We happen to think that’s a great idea.
Excerpted and adapted from Ultimate Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone by Jamie Oliver. Copyright © 2020 by Jamie Oliver. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by David Loftus.
Pinch of saffron
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
One 1½-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ras el hanout
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
5 pounds mixed vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, carrots, cherry tomatoes, red onion, butternut squash and bell peppers
One 15-ounce can chickpeas
3½ ounces dried apricots, chopped
1 preserved lemon, chopped and seeded
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups couscous
½ bunch mixed fresh herbs, such as dill, mint and Italian parsley (about ½ ounce)
¾ ounce slivered almonds, toasted
1. Place the saffron in a pitcher or bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water to infuse. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and ras el hanout. Add the tomato paste and sauté, stirring regularly, until it starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Add the saffron water.
2. Trim and prepare the vegetables as necessary, then chop into large chunks, adding them to the skillet as you go. Add the chickpeas (juices and all), apricots and preserved lemon, then season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 40 to 45 minutes.
3. Make the Couscous: When the vegetables are almost tender, place the couscous in a small saucepan, add enough boiling water just to cover, season with salt and pepper, and cover with a lid. Let sit for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Serve the tagine and couscous sprinkled with the herbs and almonds.