I wanted a vegetable dish to go with my Moroccan lamb. None of the recipes I found on-line were quite what I had in mind. I started taking ingredients from several of them and built my own.
Rhetorical Question: If you do not make it in a tajine, can you still call it a tajine?
I still do not own a tajine. I have yet to fine one that meets my standards: in size, functionality and price. I am looking for a large tajine—one designed for a two person meal is simple not enough.
I am looking for a tajine that has a lid that is low enough to fit in the oven, but also has a solid knob on the top that will make it easy to lift off. I have seen too many high lids that taper almost to a smooth point. Unless you have asbestos fingers you are going to burn yourself or drop the hot lid the first time you try to pick it up.
Finally, while it would be nice if it was beautifully decorated, I am not made out of money—$ 500 is too much to pay for something I will only use a few time a year. Until I find the right tajine, I will continue use my clay pot—which has similar cooking properties.
I love artichoke hearts. Fortunately for me, the Middle Eastern store near me has them cleaned, trimmed and frozen. If you do not have access to this convent shortcut, you may spend a lot of time trimming 10 small artichokes, but an easier solution for most people would be to substitute some green cabbage.
Karl’s Vegetable Tajine (Tagine)
½ cup dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas), boiled and drained
3 olive oil
1 red onions, coarsely chopped
½ tsp. Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. AP flour
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. allspice
1 Tbs. Karl’s Harissa
10 artichoke caps, quartered
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 beef steak tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
⅓ cup dried apricots
⅓ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
½ cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
2 Tbs. Italian parsley, chopped
2 Tbs. fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1. Soak the garbanzo beans overnight and in the morning put them in a medium pan with three cups of water.
Tip: You may add a pinch of salt, if you wish.
Note: If you wish to skip these steps, use one 14 oz. can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans.
2. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat, and cover. Simmer for one hour.
3. Drain and cool the beans. Reserve for later.
4. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant and grind them to a powder. Reserve until later.
5. On the stovetop, add the oil to your pot and sauté the onions with the salt until just starting to pick up some color.
Note: A real tajine is designed to work on the stove top or in the oven. You can use it like a skillet on the stove and then continue simmering on the burner. I am using a Römertopf clay pot. I have to soak the clay pot and sauté the onions and spices in a separate pan. Once the ingredients are mixed in the clay pot, you put it into a cold oven and set the temperature to 500º F.
6. Add the garlic and flour and continue sautéing for two minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the flour is well cooked.
7. Stir the cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, allspice, and black pepper into the onions.
8. Add the garbanzo beans, harissa, artichokes, carrots, turnip, tomato, apricots and liquid to the pot and stir to mix.
Note: Since I was sautéing the onions and spices in a separate pan, I used the broth to rinse the sauté pan and poured all of the good bits into the clay pot with the other ingredients before tossing them together to mix and coat the vegetables with the spices.
9. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Note: If you are short on stove area, you may also place the tajine in a 400º F oven and bake it for 20 minutes. With the claypot I put the pot in a cold oven, set the temperature to 500º F and bake it for 40 minutes—the pot and vegetables start off cold in a clay pot, so the cooking time is longer.
10. Stir in the lemon juice and most of the parsley and mint, recover. Simmer, or bake, for five more minutes.
Tip: Reserve a bit of the parsley and mint as garnish.
11. Garnish with the remaining parsley and mint and serve over couscous.