Makes:6 to 8 servings
Though the word tagine refers to the cone-shaped cooking vessel that the dish is traditionally made in, it has also come to refer to Moroccan-style stew preparations. This version contains an assortment of vegetables, including cauliflower and chickpeas, making for a flavorful, filling vegetarian dish.
What to buy: For a slacker solution, you can substitute high-quality canned chickpeas for the cooked chickpeas.
Preserved lemons are a popular ingredient in Moroccan cooking. They’re preserved in a salt-and-lemon-juice mixture and sold in jars. Look for them in gourmet grocery stores or online at igourmet.com, or alternatively you can make your own.
1 1/4 cup green olives, such as picholine, pitted and halved
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 preserved lemon, seeds removed, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried currants
3 cups dry couscous
3 cups water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup whole almonds, toasted
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/2 cup plain Greek-style or whole-milk yogurt
For the tagine:
Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add onion, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and cinnamon stick, and toast until aromatic, about 1 minute; add ginger and garlic, and cook until just softened, about 1 minute more.
Add carrots, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, vegetable broth, and saffron and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, covered, until vegetables are almost completely cooked but still raw in the center, about 7 minutes.
Add cauliflower, olives, chickpeas, preserved lemon, and currants and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is just tender, about 10 minutes more. Taste tagine and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Place couscous in a large bowl or baking dish. Bring water to a boil. Once water boils, pour over couscous, and let stand until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir briefly to combine.
Serve tagine over couscous, topped with almonds and scallions. Pass yogurt on the side.