The first time I ever had a tagine was on a ferry crossing between England and France, when I’d only just realized that I needed to stay off gluten, and this was the only gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian option on the menu ….. providing I didn’t eat the couscous. I can’t say I was disappointed. Surprised, but not disappointed. This is my version of that dish: a slightly spicy, warming take on ratatouille.
Frying the vegetables in the oil first helps them to retain their shape during the simmering time, so I wouldn’t skip that step if you can help it. Although the list of ingredients looks pretty long, the recipe doesn’t really take that long to make, and it is most definitely worth the effort.
pinch of saffron threads
2 tsps ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, cut into 3/4” dice
1 large or two small zucchini (courgette), cut into 3/4” cubes
1 cup slices of mixed bell pepper
1 small eggplant (aubergine), cut into 3/4” cubes
~28oz tin diced tomatoes in juice
4 clove garlic, sliced
2” fresh ginger, grated
1 cup raisins
2 tbsp sweet white miso (optional)
1 tsp salt
5 oz (18-20) prunes
1 oz (1/4 cup) slivered almonds
2 tsps sugar, if needed to counteract tart tomatoes
Gather all the dried spices together in a small bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a wide pan, then gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened.
Add the zucchini (courgette) and bell pepper, and cook gently for 5 minutes until well coated in the oil and starting to soften.
Add the eggplant (aubergine) and spices, and stir to coat all the veggies with the spice mixture.
Add the remaining ingredients, and cook, covered, until the eggplant (aubergine) is cooked, stirring occasionally. (~20-30 minutes)
Serve hot over cooked quinoa, or in a baked potato.
Optional extra: 10 oz cooked chickpeas, drained (1 standard tin)