This week I have another recipe from fellow foodie Jen Pomeroy (www.themodernmess.com). It’s a middle eastern Vegetable Tajine with a couple of extra sides of Spiced Chickpeas and a Roast Cauliflower & Grain Salad, which makes a fantastic winter meal to have with friends or family. Plus it’s totally meat free, so will suit lots of people. Jen has provided a few suggestions below……..
I love Tajine and this one is a relatively simple one. Just a bit of sautéing at the start, then you just add everything in and simmer. I‘ve included instructions for a slow cooker and pressure cooker too, if you need things cooked quickly. We serve this with Spiced Chickpeas, but it would also be great as a vegetable side alongside a spiced roasted chicken or spiced roasted lamb. Or it would be great served with some chicken thighs or fish that have been rubbed with extra chermoula.
Use any vegetables you like in the Tajine recipe. Mine all cooked at the same time, but adjust sizes of the vege pieces and cooking time accordingly .
VEGETABLE TAJINE WITH SPICED CHICKPEAS & ROAST CAULIFLOWER & GRAIN SALAD
Recipe by Jen Pomeroy - The Modern Mess
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onion, finely diced
2 - 4 cloves garlic
1 tsp each of ground ginger & turmeric
1200 – 1400 g root vegetables – I used 2 carrots, 1 kumara, 2 small parsnips & ¼ pumpkin, peeled
4 tbsp chermoula- about half a batch
1 x 680 g jar tomato passata
1 - 2 c water or stock
2 - 3 tsp honey or sweetener of choice
1 lemon, zested & juiced
1 c green olives, halved (optional)
2 tins chickpeas, rinsed & drained or about 500 – 600 g cooked
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Ras al Hanout – try Equagold’s blend
– Middle Eastern Herb & Spice Rub
1 tsp each of cumin & coriander seeds
1 tsp smoked paprika & pinch chilli flakes
2 - 4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 lemon, zested & juiced (about 2 tbsp juice)
½ c olive oil
2 c herbs, coriander, parsley & mint – I use mostly coriander with some mint & parsley
1 tsp salt
Roast Cauliflower & Grain Salad
¾ c uncooked grains or lentils (2 c cooked) – try freekeh, brown, black or red rice, bulgar wheat, buckwheat, barley, puy lentils, millet, quinoa, freekah etc…
1 small cauli – about 500 - 600g, grated (box grater or food processor)
4 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
lemon juice & a little EVOO to finish
4 – 8 tbsp herbs, chopped – I use mint & parsley
3 tbsp currants, soaked in boiling water
½ c seeds or chopped nuts, toasted
100 g baby spinach – 4 large handfuls
Prep the vegetables. I cut mine into quite large 2 - 3 bite pieces, and as my selected vegetables all cook in approximately the same amount of time I added them in all at once. If you are using cauliflower for example, I would add it in half way through. You can also cut everything smaller if you like.
In a large frypan sweat the onions and garlic with the olive oil for about 10 mins, add the spices and cook for a further minute. Add in the root vegetables, tomato passata, chermoula, stock or water, honey, lemon zest and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for about 30 - 40 mins or until the vegetables are cooked. Season well. You could also bring it to the simmer and pop it covered into the oven for an hour or until the vegetables are tender. This would probably work in the slow cooker too as long as it wasn’t stirred too much. I think 4 - 5 hours on low would be plenty. Start with just 1 cup of water/stock. I have pressure cooked this tajine for 12 minutes on medium, and it worked a treat.
Just before serving squeeze over the lemon juice, and finish with some yoghurt or yoghurt mixed with 1 tbsp of chermoula, and chopped fresh herbs.
Serve with the Spiced Chickpeas, and Roast Cauliflower & Grain Salad with Herbs & Baby Spinach.
Heat the oil in a frypan, add the chickpeas and cook until hot. Add the spices and cook for a further 1 - 2 mins until the spices coat the chickpeas. Serve straight away.
This is a great way to use up a bunch of coriander or any other herbs you have growing in the garden. I have listed lots of ways to use them below.
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a frypan. Cool. Blend everything together in a blender. The mixture keeps for a week covered in the fridge, or freeze in ice cube trays, or give some away to a friend or a neighbour!
Rub on fish or seafood, chicken, steak, lamb, haloumi, feta, vegetables. Mix through labne, yoghurt, or Mayo.
Roast Cauliflower & Grain Salad
Boil the grains until cooked and drain well (do the day before or morning before if you can). If you are mixing the grains/lentils, choose two that will cook together for the same length of time.
Place the first 5 ingredients on a large tray or two smaller trays, and roast for 30 - 40 mins at 180 - 200°C, stirring half way through until caramelised.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl and cool slightly. Mix in the lemon juice (& zest if you like), chopped herbs, currants, and seeds or nuts, then fold through the baby spinach. Season to taste.
Serve with the Vegetable Tajine and Spiced Chickpeas.
All Images © Deborah Aspray - Motif Lifestyle Images Ltd 2019