From our kitchens: Vegetarian Moroccan Tagine

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This slow-cooked Moroccan stew is the ideal way to showcase some of fall’s most luscious flavours. Called a tagine, the dish is named after the cone-shaped earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The base of the ceramic earthenware pot is wide and shallow, and the tall lid fits snugly inside. As the tagine cooks, the domed lid traps steam and it trickles down the sides and back into the dish, resulting in a tender, succulent meal. References to tagines appeared as early as the ninth-century Arabic story collection, 1001 Arabian Nights, and today, the cooking pot and the stews contained within are most commonly found in the Middle East and North Africa. Typically, a tagine is a rich stew of meat, poultry or fish, and most often includes vegetables or fruit. This vegetarian dish, which can be prepared in a Dutch oven if a tagine is not available, features chick peas, dried apricots and almonds, as well as the aromatic spices of ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and saffron. Enjoy!

To sample some of the delicious creations from student chefs at Lethbridge College, book a table in the Garden Court Dining Room by calling 403-382-6999.
Ingredients

1 ………………medium onion, chopped
2 ………………garlic cloves, minced
2 ………………medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into one-inch cubes
1 ………………medium carrot, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces
1 can (15 oz.)……diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups…………..green beans, sliced
1 cup……………canned chick peas, drained and rinsed
2 cups…………..tomato juice
2 tbsp…………..cold water
3 tbsp…………..cornstarch
2 tbsp…………..Ras-el-Hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
¾ tsp……………black pepper
¾ tsp……………ground ginger
pinch …………..saffron
1 ………………4” cinnamon stick
1 tbsp…………..olive oil
1 cup……………dried apricots
½ cup……………slivered almonds

Method

1. Preheat oven to 410º F.

2. Mix cold water into cornstarch.

3. Combine all ingredients except the apricots and almonds in an oven-proof skillet with a lid or Moroccan tagine.

4. Bake until potatoes and carrots are tender (about 30 to 45 minutes).

5. Add apricots and almonds and bake an additional 15 minutes.

6. Serve on cooked rice, bulgur or couscous and garnish as you see fit. Typical garnishes often include chopped cilantro and/or Greek yogurt. In some regions, cooks stir in a tablespoon of honey or a squeeze of lemon before serving.

7. Serves four. Bon appetit!

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