Photograph by Marcus Nilsson Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Vegetable Tagine

Mains from Issue 6 – Fall / Winter 2015 – Magic

One of the most everlasting images from One Thousand and One Nights is that of Prince Hussain riding his magic carpet. The notion of an ordinary carpet capable of suddenly taking flight into the faraway is the stuff of dreams. Our tagine charts a similar course, with a batch of familiar vegetables teleported to new and exciting territory.

serves 6

  • cup, plus 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb) cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp each ground cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, and turmeric
  • 1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ¾ cup dried Turkish apricots, chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 preserved lemon, rind only, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped roasted almonds
  • a handful of cilantro leaves
  • couscous for serving

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat ⅓ cup oil in a wide heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and stir to coat. Cook until browned on several sides then transfer to a plate. Add remaining 2 Tbsp oil to pot. Cook onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in spices and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, and sweet potato and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

  • 2

    Stir carrots, cauliflower, and apricots into the tagine and then cover and bake 25 minutes. Add chickpeas and reserved eggplant and continue baking, covered

  • 3

    Top with preserved lemon, almonds, and cilantro. Serve over couscous.