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Moroccan Tagines with Winter Vegetables

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Although the availability of frozen vegetables at supermarkets is slowly increasing, seasonal cooking is still very much the norm in Morocco. Most Moroccans buy fresh local produce from neighborhood souks and vegetable stands, and then build their menus around current offerings. The tagine recipes below all use vegetables which are available in the winter months; some remain in season well into the spring.

1. Lamb or Beef Tagine with Cardoons

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Cardoon (khorchouf in Moroccan Arabic) is very popular in Morocco and other countries around the Mediterranean. Here it's key to a tangy, peppery tagine which can be prepared with beef or lamb. See How to Clean Cardoons if you've never worked with this vegetable.

2. Chicken Tagine with Cardoons

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Cardoons can also be served alongside chicken, but they'll need a blanching first to ensure that they reach the desired buttery-tender state. Ginger, saffron, pepper and preserved lemon lend traditional Moroccan flavor.

3. Chicken Tagine with Peas and Artichokes

chicken-peas-artichokes-edit.jpg
Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Peas and artichokes are a popular veggie combo in fragrant, zesty main dishes such as this one. Directions explain three different cooking methods: conventionally, in a pressure cooker and in a traditional clay or ceramic tagine.

 

4. Lamb or Beef Tagine with Artichokes

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Artichoke bottoms are paired with beef or lamb in this classic Moroccan tagine. Saffron and ginger are key to the seasoning, while preserved lemon and olives add tangy flavor.

5. Lamb or Beef Tagine with Peas and Artichokes

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Two winter favorites, peas and artichokes, are perfect complements to each other in this Moroccan-seasoned tagine recipe. You can use frozen artichoke bottoms, but in Morocco most home cooks prep their own. See How to Clean Artichoke Hearts and Bottoms.

6. Lamb Tagine with Peas and Fennel

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
The addition of fennel (bisbas in Moroccan Arabic) adds delicate flavor and subtle contrast to the classic preparation of lamb with peas, saffron and ginger. Beef or goat may be substituted for the lamb.

7. Moroccan Tagine with Peas and Okra

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
This easy Moroccan tagine recipe pairs fresh green peas with okra and tomatoes. Ginger, saffron and olive oil combine with the thickening agents of the okra to form a rich sauce.

8. Chicken and Fennel Tagine

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Although you may be able to find fennel year-round, it's mostly a winter vegetable. In this classic chicken tagine recipe, it adds subtle anise essence to standard seasoning with ginger, saffron and turmeric. Preserved lemon and olives add traditional flavor.

9. Tagine of Lamb and Fava Beans

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
Moroccans don't bother peeling fava beans before adding them to tagines such as this one. Here, the beans are stewed with lamb (beef or goat meat may be substituted) in a delicious, tangy sauce flavored with ginger and preserved lemons.

10. Tagine of Fava Beans and Artichokes

Photo © Christine Benlafquih
This is essentially the same dish as the preceding recipe, but the addition of artichoke hearts transforms it from a family meal to a company-friendly dish. Serve Moroccan bread for scooping up the meat, vegetables and sauce.
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