Cooking with a Tagine

A tagine is a conical cooking vessel used in North African cooking (such as Moroccan cuisine). It's used to braise or slow-cook the contents of the tagine. The conical lid helps to conserve the braising liquid, as the steam rises far up to the point of the cone and then condenses to liquid again. A tagine usually has a small vent hole on the side. The tagine behaves very similar to a traditional Dutch oven but has the ability to tenderize vegetables and meats and lock in flavors in a unique manner. The tagine vessel is not required to achieve similar taste results, but it makes a dramatic dining table presentation.

Moroccan cuisine typically consists of meat, but you can easily make a vegetable tagine at home.
The word tagine is also used as the name of a traditional Moroccan dish, such as Lamb Tagine or Vegetable tagine.

Vegetable Tagine can be made with whatever produce you have on hand. I chose some of my favorites. Root vegetables, such as fennel, shallots, carrots, potatoes, and onion, are excellent in this dish.

Vegetable Tagine (approx prep & cook time: 25 mins)
1 can vegetable broth (roughly, 2 cups)
4-5 baby bella mushrooms, diced
1/2 zucchini diced
1/2 yellow squash diced
3 carrots diced
1 sweet potato, diced
5-6 basil leaves
1 Tbsp italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted (A MUST!)
2 Tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp tumeric
salt and pepper to taste

Place the base of the tagine over medium heat. Pour vegetable broth in the base of the tagine and cover until the liquid is hot. Add cumin, paprika, and tumeric.

Vegetables should be added in sequence, based on cooking duration required. For example, add carrots and sweet potatoes first and cover. After 5-7 mins, add mushrooms and re-cover. After 3 mins, add squash. Add lemon juice and coat all vegetables with liquid/broth and then keep the tagine covered with its lid.

After all vegetables are tender, remove from heat. Add toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley, basil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Combine until herbs are wilted. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the tagine if you like the rich flavor of olive oil.

Serve over fragrant couscous or as we prefer in our house, quinoa. (We cook our quinoa in vegetable broth also) If serving with couscous, add some garbanzo beans to your tagine for protein.

As you can imagine, this dish is very quick, healthy (esp. with quinoa) and most importantly,, very flavorful.

You can purchase a tagine online at a number of stores. Clay-based tagines are best for cooking on the stovetop. Most tagines need to be seasoned before use.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for posting a comment! Check back soon for my reply!