The name of this recipe is misleading. A tagine is the Moroccan clay pot with a conical lid, typically used for slow-braised stews, as well as the dishes cooked in those beautiful vessels. However, there is nothing in this particular dish that really needs a long braise, so it is quite feasible to make it in a skillet or Dutch-oven. I still call it a tagine because the flavorings are very typical of that genre.
You can easily adapt this basic method, using different vegetables and/or different beans to create a wide variety of easy, homey but very flavorful stews. It does call for a few less common ingredients (ras el hanout, Aleppo pepper, preserved lemon), but you can substitute or omit if needed. I highly encourage you to pick them up though. I’ve got many other recipes on the site that will give you other ways to use them, and I’m pretty much sure you’ll fall in love.
For an easy dinner, just serve this with fluffy couscous and thick Greek yogurt (unless you are gluten free or vegan, respectively).
Zucchini and Chickpea Tagine
Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free
- 6 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ thick half-moons
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds zucchini, diced
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas (preferably home-cooked; can also use two 15 ounce cans, drained and rinsed – use ones that are tender, not snappy)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried mint (yes, you can open up a mint teabag)
- 1 teaspoon ras el hanout (optional, but delicious – if you omit, add more of the other spices)
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or more to taste; can substitute cayenne or chili flakes)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon minced preserved lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Optional garnish: flat-leaf parsley
- Place the carrots in a small, loosely-covered microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until beginning to soften, about 90 seconds.
- Place the oil in your largest skillet or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute the zucchini until it is tender. Add the carrots and all of the remaining ingredients (chickpeas, salt, cinnamon, cumin, mint, ras el hanout, Aleppo pepper, tomato paste, preserved lemon, and lemon juice). Add 1/2 cup water and mix thoroughly. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. It will probably need more salt, and you may want to amp up the spices, depending on your taste. Serve hot, garnishing with parsley if you desire.
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