Facebook Instagram Pinterest

Lemon tagine with eggplant

Tagine is one of Morocco's most famous dishes. I had it at least once a day during my trip, which could have been a bit monotonous, had it not been for the fact that there are tons of different varieties.

The name 'tagine' refers to both the dish and the earthenware pot in which it's cooked. The conical shape of the lid is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. When the water is turned into vapour during cooking, it condenses on the inside of the lid and runs down to the edges of the bottom, and not dripping on the ingredients. Because of that, they bake and brown instead of being cooked in liquid.

If you don't have a tagine, you can still make this recipe in any ovenproof dish with a lid. The effect won't be exactly the same, but it will be delicious. Tagine is traditionally cooked over hot charcoal, but we can use a stovetop or an oven. We'll cook it over low heat - slow cooking allows the tomato sauce to caramelize and reach a full flavour.

Recipe: Lemon tagine with eggplant

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • one onion
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3-4 hot peppers
  • 2 tso ras el hanout
  • 2 tsp harrisa
  • one piece cinnamon
  • 5-6 cardamom seeds
  • one eggplant
  • 3-4 preserved lemons
  • juice of one lemon
  • tbsp honey
  • 250 ml tomato passata
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 160C.
  • Slice onion and garlic, cut the eggplant into large chunks.
  • Heat one tbsp of coconut oil in your tagging (or, if you don’t have one, any other ovenproof dish).
  • Brown the eggplant chunks so that they’re golden on all sides, but not yet soft in the middle. Set aside.
  • Heat another spoon of coconut oil.
  • Brown onion and garlic over medium heat.
  • Add ras el hanout, harissa and whole chilli peppers.
  • Fry for 1-2 minutes, stirring.
  • Add remaining ingredients: browned eggplant, tomato passata, preserved onions (cut into halves or quarters), lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and cardamom.
  • Cover and place in the oven.
  • Cook in the oven for 2 - 2,5 hours, gently stirring every 45 minutes.
  • Serve with bread or couscous.

Roasted Baby Eggplants

I have deep respect for eggplants. Can you think of any other edible item in such a deep shade of purple?

If there's anything better than eggplant, it's baby eggplant. But I'm a fan of miniature versions of pretty much everything. Baby eggplants make a perfect starter - all you have to do is roast them, maybe adding a bit of spicy green paste.

Recipe: Roasted Baby Eggplants

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 5 baby eggplants
  • one tbsp. of olive oil
Method
  • Score the bottoms of each eggplant with an “X”, about 2/3 through.
  • Stuff eggplants with green paste and place them on an oiled baking sheet.
  • Roast at 180C until the eggplants have softened (about 25 minutes).

Recipe: Green paste

Ingredients
  • one garlic clove
  • one tsp. of grated ginger
  • 1/2 green chili pepper
  • 2 tbsp. of chpped cilantro
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. of soy sauce
Method
  • Blend all the paste ingredients together.

roasted eggplant with pomegranate

Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi

Recipe: Roasted eggplant with pomegranate

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • one large eggplant
  • one tsp. of olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Method
  • Cut the eggplant in half lenghtwise. Then cut the center diagonally to form a crisscross pattern in the flesh. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Place in a baking dish and roast at 180C for about 20 minutes.
    • Top each eggplant half with the sauce and pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

      Recipe: Blue cheese sauce

      Ingredients
      • 2/3 cup of Greek yoghurt
      • one small garlic clove, minced
      • 100 g of blue cheese
      Method
      • Whisk yoghurt with blue cheese and garlic. Season with salt.
      • Refrigerate before serving.

      roasted ratatouille

      Ratatouille is a Provençal vegetable stew, originating in Nice. As it is often the case with traditional dishes, there is much debate on how to prepare ratatouille. The simplest method is sautéing all the vegetables together in a large pot. Some cooks insist on cooking the vegetables separately in order to enhance their individual flavours. Eggplants and courgettes are sautéed and tomatoes, bell peppers and onion are made into a sauce. Vegetables and sauce are then cooked together or baked as a casserole.

      My recipe resembles confit byaldi - a contemporary version of ratatouille, invented by French chef, Michela Guérarda. Guérard is the creator of cuisine minceur, a cooking style which creates lighter version of French classics. In his confit byaldi vegetables are cut into thin slices and baked without frying. The dish was popluarized owing to an American chef, Thomas Keller, famous for his Michelin three-star restaurant, The French Laundry in California. Keller was a consultant for the animated Ratatouille and it is his version of the dish that we can see in the film. Keller's variation of Guérard's dish added two sauces Basque piperade made with tomatoes, green bell pepper and onion and balsamic vinaigrette.

      Regardless of how you choose to prepare it, ratatouille is going to be delicious.

      Recipe: Roasted ratatouille

      Ingredients
      • one eggplant
      • one courgette
      • one yellow bell onion
      • one red onion
      • 2 large tomatoes
      • one can of chopped tomatoes
      • a few branches of fresh thyme
      • one tsp. of brown sugar
      • salt and pepper to taste
      • one tbsp. of olive oil
      Method
      • Thinly slice all the vegetables.
      • Spread tomatoes over the bottom of a baking dish. Season with sugar, salt and pepper.
      • Arrange vegetable slices concentrically on top of tomatoes.
      • Drizzle with olive oil, top with fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper.
      • Roast at 180C for about 45 minutes.
      • Serve as a side or as a main with fresh baguette. Możecie podawać jako dodatek do dania głównego albo jako samodzielne danie, np. ze świeżą bagietką.
      • The taste improves with age overnight in the refrigerator.

      red lentil burgers with sweet potato fries

      Perhaps not the most creative recipe ever, but everyone enjoys a good burger every once in a while.

      Recipe: Patties

      Ingredients
      • 1 1/2 cup of cooked red lentils
      • 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
      • one egg
      • one tsp. of ground cumin
      • one tsp. of tumeric powder
      • 1/2 tsp. of chili flakes
      Method
      • Combine all the ingredients on a bowl. Form two pattied.
      • Bake at 180C for about 10 minutes, flipping the patties halfway through the baking time.

      Recipe: Sweet potato fries

      Ingredients
      • one large sweet potato
      • one tbsp. of olive oil
      • one tsp. of smoked paprika powder
      • 1/2 tsp. of course sea salt
      Method
      • Cut the potato into fry-shaped pieces. Toss them into a bowl and combine with olive oil, smoked paprika and salt.
      • Arrange the fries in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
      • Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes, flipping fries halfway through baking time.

      Recipe: Red lentil burgers

      Ingredients
      • 2 buns
      • 3 tbsp. of bryndza or other soft sheep's milk cheese
      • a few slices of grilled eggplant
      • a few slices of tomato
      • a few slices of red onion
      • a handful of fresh cilantro leaves
      Method
      • Assemble the burgers: spread bryndza on the buns, top with grilled eggplant, lentil patties, cilantro leaves, tomato and onion.
      Previous page