Tagines are slow cooked dishes, made in the eponymous conical pot: they can be meat or fish based but they can also be wholly vegetable based as in thisrecipe I brought back from Marrakech. It is the tastiest way of cooking your vegetables; I promise you will not want your potatoes and carrots any other way after feasting your tastebuds on this… No amount of boiled veggy will now ever do with the sunday roast…
- tomatoes, 3 grated
- celery stick, 1
- carrots, 3
- fennel, 1
- sweet potatoes,1 small
- potatoes, 2
- cabbage, 1/2
- olive oil
- sunflower oil
- sweet paprika
- grated ginger
- salt and pepper
For the marinade : Mix into a bowl 50ml of olive oil, 50ml of sunflower oil, 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika, same of cumin and grated ginger plus salt and pepper. Crush 3 cloves on garlic in the mix and add a pinch of saffron. Cut up a bay leaf and grate the two tomatoes on a flat grater so you just get the flesh and discard the skin once finished. Mix it all well.
First, soak the flat bottom of the dish in water to avoid cracking on heat. This is a very important step if you want to keep on using the tagine!
Slice the onions finely and lay at the bottom of the dish.
Cut up the carrots, celery and fennel in sticks and put a layer over the onions.
Cut large chunks of the cabbage and then thick slices of the potatoes and arrange them on top. You can use any seasonal vegetables so next summer it might be courgettes, aubergines or anything else you fancy for that layer just before the potatoes.
Slice one fresh or preserved lemon and some black olives on top.
You can also add a handful of pre-cooked chickpeas instead of olives.
Pour the mix over the vegetables arranged in a pyramid shape.
Add a glass of water.
Put the dish directly on low heat (or using a heat diffuser) for about 2 hours – ideally without opening the lid but do if no more steam is coming out!
The vegetables will be melting in your mouth and the flavours are unreal…
Sprinkle with parsley and coriander before serving in the dish – pipping hot.