If you've been under the impression that Moroccan stews must include meat or poultry, think again. A delicious vegetarian tagine with mixed vegetables can be prepared as your main dish. Vegetables cooked in traditional Moroccan tagines have appetizing texture, color, and flavor. Cut the veggies into wedges or planks and arrange them in conical Berber style as shown here, or simply slice and layer them.
If cooking in a tagine, a diffuser is recommended for placing between the tagine and burner. If you don't own a tagine, a skillet may be used instead. Serve directly from the dish in which you cooked, using crusty bread such as Moroccan Semolina Bread for scooping up the veggies and sauce.
Avoid rushing the cooking; you'll want to allow one to two hours for the veggies to slow cook. If using argan oil instead of olive oil, extra care must be given to maintaining a low temperature so as not to ruin the delicate flavor of the oil.
- 1/4 cup olive oil or argan oil
- 1 onion, sliced into rings
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise (or sliced)
- 2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
- 2 or 3 small zucchini. cut in half lengthwise or thickly sliced
- 1 or 2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered (or cut into 1/4" thick slices)
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- pinch of saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
- a handful of red or green olives (optional)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro, for garnish
- Wash and prep the vegetables.
- Place the potatoes, carrots, and zucchini in a bowl; add the spices and toss to coat the vegetables evenly.
- Pour half of the oil into the base of a tagine or in a skillet. Add the onion slices and top with the tomato slices.
- Arrange the vegetables in conical fashion on top the tomatoes. If they were sliced, layer the vegetables over the tomatoes: first the carrots, then the potatoes, then the zucchini.
- Add the olives. Drizzle the remaining oil over the arranged vegetables.
- Rinse the spices from the bowl which held the potatoes by swirling one cup of water in the bowl. Add this water to the tagine or skillet and cover.
- Place over medium-low to medium heat (use a diffuser between a tagine and the burner) and bring to a simmer. It's normal for this to take 15 or 20 minutes if cooking in clay, so stay patient.
- Once you hear the tagine simmering, adjust the heat to the lowest temperature necessary for maintaining a simmer. Allow the tagine to cook undisturbed for about one to one-and-a-half hours. Check to see that the vegetables are tender, and reduce any excess liquid if desired.
- Garnish the tagine with the chopped parsley or cilantro and serve warm.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||15 g|
|Saturated Fat||2 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||10 g|
|Dietary Fiber||8 g|