White Bean and Vegetable Tagine


I have a beautiful black tagine that I love using. I cook lots of things in it, not just Moroccan food. It makes everything cooked in it taste special. In Morocco, veggie tagines vary so much. They can be rich and oily or watery and tasteless. Generally, they are made only of veg though and we found it hard to find a tagine that used lentils or beans. This is a shame as the tagine is so ubiquitous, you end up eating one almost every day, as other vegan options are so limited in Morocco. A little extra nutrition in the way of pulses really helps to lift the dish.

I soaked and cooked my own beans here but tinned are almost as good.
Serves 6

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour

A medium onion chopped
A large aubergine chopped
2 red peppers chopped
3 medium tomatoes blended with a large clove of garlic
A tin of white beans or equivalent in soaked and cooked beans
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme
A teaspoon of harissa
A teaspoon of ras al hanout paste or powder
A teaspoon of chermoulah paste if you can get it
Salt and pepper to taste
A tablespoon of olive oil

Warm the oil in the tagline and add the onion, aubergine and pepper. Cook gently until starting to soften. Then add the tomato mixture, beans, herbs and spices. Bring to the boil and turn the heat very low. Put the lid on the tagine or pan and simmer for about an hour until the vegetables are melting and the sauce is thick.

Serve with crusty whole wheat bread or couscous.


Roasted Corn and Butternut Squash Couscous Salad


Couscous can be very dull and you need to add a lot of flavour to make it into something wonderful. This dish has sweetness from both the squash and the corn plus bags of freshness from the mint and coriander. We like our food spicy so you can also add chill like I did to give an extra punch but it can be left out. Chickpeas are added for extra protein but green lentils would also work.

This could be served on its own or as part of a vegan mezze platter. It could also be put inside a wrap with some red pepper hummus from the previous recipe. You could add a handful of toasted walnuts for extra texture.

Makes a large bowlful
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes

150g couscous
Half a small butternut squash
Half a tin of chickpeas
2 ears of fresh corn
A handful of fresh coriander chopped
A handful of fresh mint chopped
Half a clove of garlic
A tablespoon of honey mustard dressing
A teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (optional)
A spring onion finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste?

Cut the butternut squash in half and place on a baking tray with the corn ears. Roast in the oven at 170 Celsius. Remove the corn after about 10 minutes and remove the squash after a total of about 30 minutes. Leave to cool.

Place the couscous in a pan and add just enough boiling water to cover the couscous. Leave with a lid on for 10 minutes then remove the lid and stir with a fork. Put to one side.

When all the ingredients are cool, place the couscous in a large bowl and add the chickpeas, mint, garlic, coriander and onion. Chop the squash into bitesize pieces and remove the corn from the cobs. Add the squash, corn and dressing to the couscous mixture and season to taste. Add the chilli if using. Chill before serving.