A delightful (and vegan!) tagine of eggplant, potato, chickpeas, and apricot.
WARNING: Up next is a bunch of chatter about an upcoming adventure. Feel free to scroll down to the recipe if you’re just here for the food. Jerk.
In the Baba Ghannouj recipe post I shared earlier this week I spilled the beans about my upcoming trip to Egypt!
Why I’m talking about a trip to Egypt in a post about Moroccan food is anybody’s guess.
Actually, when I was thinking about planning another trip, it came down to a choice between Egypt and Morocco.
In the end, I decided to go the distance and make the longer trek to the Sinai peninsula.
I was lucky enough to snag some airfare back when there was a deal for round trip tickets from Portland to Europe for $400. I decided to buy a one-way ticket to Lisbon, Portugal and then a month later fly back on another one-way ticket from Budapest, Hungary.
The airfare was bought on something of a whim (it was such a good deal!), so then I had to figure out what to do in the meantime.
Luckily, I had a bunch of AMEX points just begging to be used up, so I knew I could arrange for a few extra flights during the trip.
When all was said and done, my itinerary was set as follows:
- Day 1: Fly from Portland to Lisbon, Portugal
- Day 2 and 3: Lisbon
- Day 4: Fly to Cairo
- Day 5 through 18: Tour through Egypt and Jordan
- Day 18: Somehow make the border crossing between Amman, Jordan and Jerusalem, Israel
- Day 19: Jerusalem
- Day 20 through 22: TBEX travel conference in Jerusalem
- Day 23: Jerusalem
- Day 24: Fly to Budapest
- Day 25 through 27: Budapest
- Day 28: Fly home to Portland
Sooooo my trip to Egypt turned into a strange month-long journey through 5 countries.
For those of you who are curious, here’s the tour I booked for my time in Egypt and Jordan.
I don’t usually travel by tour, but since I’ll be alone in a truly unfamiliar place I thought it would be prudent this time around.
I have family in Jerusalem, plus I’ll be busy with the travel conference, so I’ve got plenty to keep me busy while I’m in Israel.
Lisbon and Budapest, though…. no clue what I’m going to do in either of those places. I mean except eat EVERYTHING.
Alright, that’s a LOT of talk about something that has nothing to do with this recipe.
Right. Moroccan Tagine of Vegetables!
This is kind of a fake-y tagine because it isn’t actually made with a tagine.
Look, stop judging me, okay? I have one… somewhere. I just can’t find it or maybe I donated it because I never use it.
Anyway, seeing as most people probably don’t own one either, I think it’s suitable to share this recipe which utilizes a plain old Dutch oven.
This one-pot tagine of vegetables is SUPER easy to make.
It requires a bit of prep work, but maybe you can enlist some help from your significant other or house guests.
Anybody that can manage to peel a potato will do.
You start by sauteeing some vegetables and eggplant in oil — and yes, before I get questions in the comments, leave the skin on! It will soften up as it cooks. Trust me, you’ll like it.
Next, chuck in some peeled potatoes, tomatoes, dried apricots and broth. Let it all get cozy and cook it until the potatoes are nearly falling apart.
To thicken things up a bit, you’ll mash half a can of chickpeas up with a fork before adding them into the pot. The rest of the chickpeas are allowed to remain whole.
Serve the tagine over a bed of prepared couscous, then top with toasted almonds and chopped fresh coriander.
Make sure you don’t forget the lemon wedges for squeezing! They add *just* the right punch of flavor. I forgot to put them in the pictures because I’m awesome like that.
Here’s Your Recipe!
Yields 6 to 8 servings
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup sliced yellow onion
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded, stemmed, and minced (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces (skin-on)
- 4 teaspoons ras el hanout
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 12 dried apricots, halved
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 lemon, sliced into wedges
- Heat the olive in in a 6-quart or larger lidded pot over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno (if using); sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic, eggplant, and ras el hanout; toss well to coat.
- Turn the heat up to high and add 3 cups of water along with the potatoes, tomatoes, apricots, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer for 25 minutes. Uncover the pot and continue cooking for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender.
- Meanwhile, place half of the chickpeas in a small bowl and mash with a fork. Toast the almonds in a small pan over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Prepare couscous if desired.
- Once the potatoes are tender, stir in the chickpeas (both whole and mashed) and the honey. Taste and add more salt as desired. Serve over couscous topped with toasted almonds, chopped cilantro, and lemon wedges for squeezing.