Tagine

Vegan, vegetarian

Like a lot of other terms used in today’s world of blurry culinary borders and super-fusion cuisine, a ‘tagine’ has come to refer to a mix of vegetables, or meat and vegetables, spiced and served Moroccan-style, over cous cous or rice. The word itself actually comes from the clay pot used to make the traditional dish, which is the perfect vessel for long, slow braising. I have never owned a tagine pot, and yet I have been making some variation on this dish for quite some time. Basically, if there are carrots, onions, chickpeas and cinnamon involved, I usually say that we are having tagine for dinner. Feel free to play here, add some bell or spicy peppers and use chicken broth and even meat, if that’s your thing. There are an infinite number of recipes out there, but this should give you an idea of what (vegetarian) tagine is all about.

Ari’s Tagine, remixed

Typically I use a cinnamon stick when I make tagine, letting it simmer with the vegetables after I cover the pot; however since all I had was ground cinnamon, I tossed a little in with the onions and carrots while they sauteed and the end result was still delicious.

olive oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

3-4 carrots, sliced thinly on the diagnal

generous pinch of cinnamon

generous pinch of cumin

salt and pepper

3 small zucchini or summer squash, quartered and chopped

1 can chickpeas

1- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots and spices and stir to coat everything. Saute for a few minutes, letting onions, brown slightly, but not burn. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to saute, stirring occasionally until onions are becoming translucent. Add the squash, and chickpeas and stir to incorporate, then pour in the broth and cover the pan. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft. If there is a lot of broth left in the pan you can cook it off with the pan uncovered.

Serve over rice or cous cous and sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro.

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