Lucky me! My friend gave be several beautiful eggplants from her garden. This flavorful North African vegetarian stew was a perfect way to use them. I served it over whole wheat couscous as well as with warm flatbread to soak up all of the delicious sauce.
The recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com. I modified the recipe to prepare it in my stove top pressure cooker. I also increased the amount of garlic, substituted my CSA beefsteak tomatoes for half of the grape tomatoes, and omitted the harissa. We ate it with steamed CSA broccolini on the side. It was healthy and hearty vegetarian feast.
Yield: Serves 6
4 T extra-virgin olive oil
8 medium to large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cups (1 pint) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or substitute an additional 2 cups (1 pint) grape or cherry tomatoes)
4 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, plus more
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
2 pounds eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 of a lemon, plus lemon wedges to serve, if desired
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
harissa, for serving, optional (as a topping for a little spice)
whole wheat couscous, for serving (I cooked 1 cup of couscous per the package directions)
warm flatbread, for serving, optional (I served it with naan)
In a stove top pressure cooker (or a 6-quart Instant Pot), sauté the oil and garlic over medium heat, stirring often, until golden brown, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the onion, tomatoes, ginger, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to release some of their juices, 2 to 4 minutes.
Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Gently stir in the eggplant, then distribute in an even layer.
Lock the lid of the pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) in place. Over medium heat, bring to low pressure (first line on a stove top pressure cooker). Cook for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the couscous. Set aside.
When pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the steam by moving the pressure valve to vent. Carefully open the pot.
Gently stir in the chickpeas and lemon juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the cilantro.
Serve over couscous garnished with additional cilantro, drizzled with additional oil (I omitted it) and with warm flatbread and lemon wedges on the side, as desired.
I made this full-flavored Moroccan dish when we were dreaming of a family trip to Morocco. (Currently still a dream trip!) It was amazing to be able to create a tagine-like dish using a slow cooker. My husband actually often asks me if I “need” a tagine. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sarah DiGregorio. I increased the amount of garlic and served the chicken over Israeli couscous with sautéed kale on the side. The chicken was falling-off-of-the-bone tender. Wonderful!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Time: 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours
1medium (2 to 2 1/2 pound) butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 3-inch-by-1-inch wedges
8pitted dates, such as Medjool, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1(3-inch) cinnamon stick
2teaspoons sweet paprika
1 ½teaspoons turmeric
1teaspoon ground cumin
½teaspoon hot smoked paprika
½teaspoon ground ginger
¼teaspoon ground cloves
¼teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 T canola oil
3 ½ to 4pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed (I used 8 thighs)
1large red onion, finely chopped
¼cup minced ginger (from about a 4-inch piece peeled ginger)
6 to 8large garlic cloves, minced
¼cup lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon), plus more to taste
leaves of 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4scallions, thinly sliced
cooked couscous or pita for serving, optional (I used Israeli couscous)
plain yogurt, for topping, optional (I used 2% Greek yogurt)
toasted slivered almonds, for topping, optional
Finely chop the onion in a food processor; set aside. Mince the ginger and garlic in a food processor; set aside.
Put the squash wedges and pitted dates into a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker. Season generously with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon stick, sweet paprika, turmeric, cumin, hot smoked paprika, ground ginger, cloves and cayenne and set aside.
Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Pat the chicken dry and season it generously with salt.
Working in two batches, put the chicken in the skillet skin side down and cook without moving it until the skin is deeply golden, crisp, and releases fairly easily from the bottom of the pan, about 5 to 8 minutes per batch. (You need to brown only the skin side.) Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker, nestling the thighs skin side up and in one crowded layer on top of the squash.
Decrease the stovetop heat to medium. If there is a lot of rendered fat in the pan, pour off all but a thin layer to cover the entire bottom of the skillet. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the reserved spices and stir well for about 30 seconds, until the mixture is a uniform brick red.
Add the lemon juice, stir well to incorporate the browned bits, then scrape the mixture over the top of the chicken, making sure to include any spice-stained oil that remains.
Cook on low until the squash and chicken are very tender and the flavors are mellow, at least 4 hours and up to 6 hours. If it’s more convenient, you can let the slow cooker switch to warm after 6 hours. The dish will hold on warm for another 2 hours before the chicken starts to dry out.
Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Add additional lemon juice and salt, to taste, and fold in the chopped parsley and scallions.
Serve with couscous or pita, topped with yogurt and toasted almonds, as desired.
This dish was the perfect way to celebrate my beautiful CSA cauliflower. Although the base of this tagine was a bit spicy, the cauliflower and cheesy breadcrumb topping offset the spiciness and created a perfect balance. Because I didn’t have the Tunisian spice blend, Tabil, on hand, I was able to create the spice blend myself. The spiciness in the final dish could be easily modified by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes in the spice blend.
The tagine recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. I reduced the amount of olive oil to lighten the recipe. I also included a leek as well as green and yellow bell peppers from my CSA share. The spice blend recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com. It was a full-flavored and fabulous vegetarian casserole.
For the Tabil Spice Blend:
Yield: about 3 tablespoons
1 1/2 T coriander seeds
2 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 T caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Finely grind all ingredients in a spice mill.
Note: The remaining spice blend can be reserved in an airtight container at room temperature.
For the Tagine:
Yield: Serves 6
8 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, cut into half moons and rinsed
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons Tabil (recipe above)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup water
2 1/2-pounds cauliflower (about 1 to 1 1/2 heads), cored and cut into 2-inch florets
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
3 ounces, 1 cup, Gruyère cheese, shredded
5 large eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 400°, preferably on convection.
Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and leek and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
Add the garlic, bell pepper, paprika, Tabil, tomato paste and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper softens, about 7 minutes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and water and simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the prepared baking dish.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Spread the cauliflower in the baking dish.
In a small bowl, toss the bread crumbs with the Gruyère and season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the beaten eggs; spread the mixture over the cauliflower.
Cover with foil and bake in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges.
Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until browned and crisp on top.
Let the tagine stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This ultra-flavorful dish is based upon a version of North African meatballs served in France, where they are called boulettes. Both the sauce and the meatballs are loaded with spices. SO fragrant and delicious.
This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I used ground turkey instead of beef or lamb and increased the garlic. I also forgot to include the raisins in my couscous! We ate it with steamed spinach on the side but it would also be incredible served with roasted tomatoes or roasted cauliflower- or all of the above. Next time!