Garden Vegetable Tagine is sure to be a weekly staple in my kitchen, I say that with all seriousness. It’s incredibly easy to make (I love simple) delicious, and can feed a large group of people… or a couple of hungry foodies all week long. No vegetable is left out in this dish from root veggies like sweet potatoes, to eggplants, peppers, and cauliflower. All of these vegetables stand out on their own in this dish, but a special moroccan condiment harissa, melts together with vegetables and warming spices after this slow and low cooking process in the tagine.
What I love most about this dish is the flexibility. Even though I live a plant-based diet, meaning the bulk of my diet is from plant sources, I still enjoy farm fresh eggs and wild caught fish, and this veggie based tagine makes it suitable for everyone. This dish is perfect for those of you living a vegan lifestyle, vegetarian, plant-based (like moi), paleo, etc.; it surpasses all “diets” and is universally delicious for everyone. You can easily add in proteins of your choice to make this meal “complete” and more hearty. Below I’ll share some variations to add per serving to make this more of a hearty meal. It’s also great for making on your batch cooking day for reheating later or sharing with the family.
First, many of you may not know what a tagine is; a tagine (or tajine) is a clay pot used in Moroccan cooking that helps the food cooked within it evenly cook and keeps it hot long after cooking. The cone shaped lid has a purpose, it’s to allow the condensation from the bottom (where the food is) to rise and fall back to the base while cooking. No worries if you don’t have a tagine in your home, you can simply use a large/deep skillet with a lid, but having a tagine recreates a traditional feel to the dish and the presentation is gorgeous. Here are a couple tagines that I adore (here and here).
Harissa gives an important flavor in this dish, it’s what sets a normal vegetable mash apart from vegetable tagine. Harissa essentially is a Moroccan condiment/sauce used in countless ways. I was contacted by the lovely and energetic Mina from Mina Harissa to try her product. After one bite, I was in love. No exaggeration, I went through two containers of the harissa in 2 weeks and found myself putting it on everything- stirring it into hummus, dipping roasted veggies into it, adding it to egg or tofu scrambles, stirring into beans, or using it as a marinade for tempeh. Harissa is an incredibly healthy condiment as well, it’s made from only whole food ingredients I can pronounce and have in my own pantry, such as chilies, peppers, vinegar, olive oil, garlic and salt — completely Nutrition Stripped approved. The spices and spice blends also give this dish amazing depth of flavor such as the ultimate Moroccan spice blend, ras el hanout which means means “the head of the shop”– in a nutshell it means the best of the best spices all together in one blend. There’s complete truth to that as the spices are cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, pepper, chili, coriander, and more.
Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to create a harissa inspired recipe Nutrition Stripped style- and I immediately knew what I wanted to make. I wanted to embrace all of the lovely garden vegetables I’ve been so inspired by lately while shopping at the farmers markets around town by pairing it with spicy harissa. In Moroccan cuisines, it’s traditional to have spicy and sweet components all within one dish, I translated that by adding heaps of sweet potatoes to this recipe that created an amazing balance of flavors between the heat from the harissa and subtle sweetness from the sweet potatoes. I love using eggplant in this dish as well, if you’re new to eggplant I promise using it in this recipe will be delicious, it gives it a thick and meaty density to it that would be lacking if you left it out.
Serve with // tempeh, beans, hemp seeds, chickpeas, eggs, wild caught fish, etc. I love serving this dish on top of a bed of fluffy quinoa, rice (jasmine, basmati, or wild rice), millet, or even plain on top of dark leafy greens like spinach.
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 large sweet potatoes, chopped
- 2 zucchinis, chopped
- 1 large eggplant, chopped
- ½ cup cauliflower, chopped
- ½ cup sweet onion, chopped
- 1 cup of organic vegetable stock
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or minced
- 3 heaping tablespoons of red mina harissa
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon of chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ras el hanout
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- additional fresh mint and parsley to garnish
- Put the olive oil in the tagine and sauté the chopped onion for about 2 mins, followed by adding in garlic.
- Add all the remaining chopped vegetables, spices, harissa and other ingredients.
- Cover with the lid and cook over low heat for 40 mins, stirring occasionally. The end result will be a thick, hearty vegetable dish.
- If you're using a skillet/deep dish skillet, use the same process and cover with a lid.
- Serve over rice, quinoa, or plain with an added protein before enjoying.
- Garnish with fresh mint and parsley.
- Keeps well in the fridge for leftovers, simply reheat in the oven or microwave briefly.