Saffron, preserved lemons, apricots, fluffy couscous & toasted almonds. In the summer I grow most of these vegetables, and I’m always eager to pick, wash and race to cook this dish – the flavour is just extraordinary with tender, delicate veg.
1 pinch of saffron
4 cloves of garlic
4cm piece of ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ras el hanout
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
2.5kg mixed veg, such as aubergines, courgettes, carrots, cherry tomatoes, red onion, butternut squash, mixed-colour peppers
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
100g dried apricots
1 preserved lemon
1/2 a bunch (15g) of mixed fresh herbs, such as dill, mint, flat-leaf parsley
20g flaked almonds
1. Put the saffron into a jug, cover with 500ml of boiling water and leave to infuse. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic and ginger, then place in a large casserole pan over a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil, the cumin, cinnamon and ras el hanout. Add the tomato paste, fry for a few minutes, stirring regularly, then pour over the saffron water. Trim and prep the veg as necessary, then chop into large chunks, adding them to the pan as you go. Tip in the chickpeas (juices and all), roughly chop and add the apricots and preserved lemon, discarding any pips, then season with sea salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.
2. When the veg are almost tender, just cover the couscous with boiling water, season with salt and pepper and pop a plate on top. Leave for 10 minutes, then fluff and fork up. Pick the herb leaves and toast the almonds. Serve the tagine and couscous sprinkled with the almonds and herbs.
3. Delicious served with harissa-rippled yoghurt.
NUTRITION PER SERVING 438 kcal; 9.6g fat (1.4g saturated); 16.3g protein; 77.6g carbs; 27.7g sugars; 1g salt; 15.8g fibre
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