Welcome to another Meatless Monday. On the menu tonight is a vegetable tagine without the tagine (the clay conical topped cooking instrument). Being in North America, the traditional tagine pot is not as practical as it is hard to fit in a conventional oven so ours uses a pot on our stovetop. Even though this recipe contains many ingredients, it is not anything to be apprehensive about as it just essentially a stew – a Moroccan stew. Please note that the Moroccan spice mix can be made ahead and stored. Now let’s get cooking.
Lentil and Vegetable Tagine
• 2 cups yellow lentils, soaked for an hour
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 onion, thinly sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp Moroccan spice mix (or up to 2 tsp for more intense seasoning)
• 2 dried apricots, cut fine
• 4 cups water (adjust as needed during cooking)
• 1 carrot, large diced
• 3 cups eggplant, zucchini, etc., large diced
• 1 cup green beans, broad beans, asparagus, etc, cut into 2 cm pieces
• 1 cup mushrooms, large diced
• 6 plum tomatoes, halved or quartered
In a heavy casserole, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until lightly browned. Add the drained lentils, spice mix, apricots, and 4 cups of water. Cover and simmer until lentils are about 1/2 cooked. Yellow lentils take about 25 minutes to this point; red or brown lentils will take a little less time. Check the package and schedule accordingly. You may need to adjust the amount of water, too, so keep an eye on it.
Add in the carrots, cover the pot and cook for ten minutes. Add the remaining vegetables except the tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are both done. Mix in the tomatoes and serve
This tagine will yield four-six portions but as with any stew, it is very easily adjusted. Tagine is a perfect for both the beginner and experienced cook as it is a one-pot meal. Traditionally tagine is eaten with one’s hands using the flat bread to scoop the stew up. Regardless of how you choose to eat it, flat bread (or pita) is an excellent accompaniment for dipping into the tagine. If you are not a fan of pita or flat bread, you can also cook some couscous in vegetable stock and lemon rind, then serve the tagine over it. No matter how you serve it this is a perfect dinner for a chilly fall evening. Enjoy!
Thanks to mediatinker.com/blog for this excellent recipe.