Morroccan Tagine with Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini

It is only 35 days and 13 hours until Christmas.    Can that be correct?

I can’t believe it.

And, of course I cannot believe that it is time for another Secret Recipe Club post.    SRC is a great group of bloggers directed by some even more spectacular blogger-hosts (JaneSarah, Suzanne, and the fabulous Group C host, Debbi.)
Secret Recipe Club

To get more info on SRC, click here.    (To see all of my SRC posts, click here.)

My assignment this month was Lick The Spoon.   I am pleased to introduce you to Louise from Australia.    She is a foodaholic, a wife, and the mother of two adorable little ones.    She also has just participated in a Chopping Block cooking competition at the Good Food and Wine Show in Brisbane.    Check out her adventure here.   Louise, I bet your dish was delicious.

I had a great time perusing her site and I found the absolutely perfect recipe:   her Aubergine Tagine.  

Since we are nearing the holidays, I was reminded how we spent last Christmas in Santa Fe.    And I immediately glanced over to the dining room table where a tagine that we purchased at The Spanish Table has rested ever since that trip.   It has sat there undisturbed, unused and ignored since last December.

It was time.

I had been waiting until I found the perfect recipe.    I did at Lick That Spoon.

There was a bit of adaptation that I needed to do with Louise’s recipe because I couldn’t get a few products.   Her original recipe called for “Gourmet Garden’s very own garlic paste, coriander, and hot chilli paste” and for passata.     I hadn’t heard of Gourmet Garden so  I substituted minced garlic, ground coriander and an Asian chili-garlic sauce for these ingredients.    Passata?     I did find out that it is a raw tomatoe puree of sorts so I used some Pomi strained tomatoes in lieu of the called-for passata.

My prep.

Here is my Yankee adaptation of Louise’s dish.

Morroccan Tagine with Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini
Adapted from Lick that Spoon who adapted it from 500 Main Courses

1 medium eggplant (1 lb.), peeled and diced (1/2 inch cubes)
2 small zucchinis (1 lb. total), thickly sliced
Fine sea salt (around 1T.)
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced
2 large cloves garlic
8 oz. baby Portabello mushrooms, sliced
4 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ T. ground coriander
1 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. turmeric
2 1/2 cups strained tomatoes (or passata)
1 heaping T. tomato paste
2/3 c. water
1 T. chili garlic sauce
1/3 c. dried apricots, chopped
1 c. chickpeas, drained and rinsed  (I used some that I had frozen.   You could substitute 1 can.)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley to garnish

Place eggplant and zucchini in a colander.  Sprinkle and toss with salt.  Set aside in a colander for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.   Rinse eggplant and zucchini.  Toss with 2 T. olive oil and place in a shallow backing pan.

Eggplant and zucchini ready to roast.

Roast until tender and golden, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, for about 20 minutes.

Nice and roasted.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 T. oil in the tagine, or heavy based pot.  Cook the onion and garlic until softened, stirring occasionally.  Add mushrooms and saute until tender; then add the spices.

Notice anything here?

Stir for 1 minute until aromatic and well combined.  Add strained tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the eggplant, zucchini, chickpeas and apricots and chilli garlic sauce. Cook, partially covered, for a further 15 minutes, adding a little extra water if the tagine becomes too dry.

Serve with cous cous and garnish with fresh parsley if desired, and serve.

If you were astute, you might have noticed in the mushroom pic that it looks like I am using a cast iron skillet.   You would be correct.   I grabbed the tagine and read on the bottom:   “Must soak for 24 hours before using.”

Doh!

Plus, I would have needed to have halved this recipe for my smallish tagine.

So, you should note that this recipe can be made just fine in a heavy pan.   No tagine required.

My tagine did make a nice serving vessel.

Nice serving bowl.

Thank you, Louise, for forcing me to use my tagine before the end of 2012!   I vow to try to cook with it next!  🙂

 

Aside:   When I went to the grocery store to get some of the ingredients, I did find passata on the shelf.    I was amazed that I could find it; however, I still used the strained tomatoes because I already had them on hand.

Moral of the story:   Don’t be so quick to judge your grocery store.

 



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