Posted by Megan | Dinner, Global, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian

Okay, okay. So I fell off the blogging bandwagon for a few days. That’s because we were out of town running our first half-marathon, so please forgive me! My abandonment of the blog does not mean I don’t have anything new to share with you today, though. I think I’ll finally blog about that tagine recipe I’ve been taunting you with, even though it’s got some steep competition with some cookies I made the other night, and yet another Indian recipe. The life of a food blogger is full of lots of hard decisions! But it’s finally time to make this recipe a priority.

Will’s love of cooking in a tagine began when he studied abroad in Morocco between his sophomore and junior years of college (the same summer we first made our Bond Voyage cookies). As he ate and observed the cooking practices of Moroccans, he increasingly became intrigued with a cooking vessel known as the tagine. The tagine originated from Berber culture and is used in a similar fashion to a modern-day crockpot. With a conical lid and a deep dish, a tagine’s purpose is to trap steam inside to slow cook food and prevent it from drying out. It can also be used as a serving piece and we have occasionally used the dish for cooking other recipes that are served well by the terracotta stone. A tagine used to be a little more rare of a find in the States, but now you find them at a place like World Market! So there’s no excuse not to go out and get a fun cooking dish to make a meal that impresses your friends!

This particular recipe came from our new “mini” Moroccan cookbook and was the first recipe we decided to try. Simplistic in its ingredients, it proved to be a light summer-veggie tagine with a fragrant mixture of spices. Because it didn’t involve meat, it cooked fairly quickly (for a tagine) and went perfectly with couscous. We only got to enjoy it for one night, but would happily make it again. So don’t be afraid of the fancy-looking tagine, but instead give it a shot! And if you don’t have/don’t want a tagine, you can also adapt the recipe to be done in a baking dish.



Cooking Notes: We halved the recipe, but that’s the only difference from the original. The halved recipe is included below!

Zucchini, Tomato & Chickpea Tagine (serves 2; adapted from Moroccan)
1/2 cup chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
A few cranks of fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1 medium-sized zucchini, quartered and deseeded
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tbsp veggie stock

Prepare chickpeas, whether from a can or slow-cooked in your kitchen. Once chickpeas are ready, drain them and set aside. Heat the olive oil in the tagine base over medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic, spices and salt, and saute until softened and fragrant. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, zucchini, parsley and cilantro and stir to combine. Pour in the veggie stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes or until veggies are tender. Serve with couscous.

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