This recipe is the brainchild of what we call “veg box cooking”. There was a head-scratching combination of vegetables leftover from our weekly veg box sitting in the BioFresh draw… Well, necessity breeds deliciousness! Read on…
As Katy observed, the depth and complexity of flavour here would be typical of hours of slow-cooking, yet this is a speedy 45-minute recipe and 30 mins of that is ‘hands-off’ oven time!
The sauce is fantastically rich, deeply umami, and so unctuous; the roasted baby squash is sweet; and the humble savoy cabbage – typically the least sexy of all veg, let’s be honest – is raised to glamorous new heights: the exposed parts become charred, smokey and crispy, and the submerged bits braise into sweet, yielding comfort. It’s the tastiest cabbage we’ve eaten that’s for sure!
This recipe is a one-pot wonder and serves 2 hungry people.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
This recipe serves 2
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chunky dice
- 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp chopped dates
- 1 tbsp harissa
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tin water
- 2 tbsp black olives, de-stoned and halved
- 1 tin drained kidney beans, or chickpeas
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 small savoy cabbage / 1/2 larger cabbage. cut into approx. 2 cm wedges
- 1 baby delicia squash, chopped into wedges and de-seeded
- 2 tbsp flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees fan, or 220 conventional.
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet or saucepan (ideally one that’s ovenproof), and add in the chopped onions. Fry these off for 10 minutes until soft and translucent with a little caramelisation.
Add the garlic and chilli, and fry these for 2 minutes.
Dry toast the spices in a small frying pan for 2 minutes, just until you can smell their aromas being released, then grind in a pestle and mortar and add these to the onions; stir well to prevent these from catching on the base of the pan.
After 1 minute add the tomato paste, chopped dates and harissa, and fry for 2 minutes. The dates here stand in place of the teaspoon of sugar one might typically add with tomato concentrate; they will off-set the acidity and add a richer, more complex sweetness – perfect for the tagine’s flavour profile.
Finally, add the tinned tomatoes, water, olives, drained and rinsed beans (or chickpeas), and sea salt. Stir well and allow this to come to a simmer over a medium heat, just while you prepare the other veg.
Cut the cabbage into approx 2 cm thick wedges; keep the root of the cabbage intact so the leaves hold together. Chop the delicia squash into thin moons and de-seed. Toss these in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
It’s oven time! If your saucepan/skillet is oven proof simply scatter the veg over the top of the tagine sauce and whack this at the top of the hot oven. If you need to transfer your tagine sauce into a medium sized roasting dish, do so now, and then top with the cabbage and peppers.
Scatter over the flaked almonds and cook your tagine for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven. The veggies which are submerged will become super juicy and yielding, and those which are exposed will roast fantastically at this high temperature and become really well charred and smokey. The sauce will thicken and become rich and concentrated too.
Enjoy in warmed bowls and top with a final drizzle of olive oil, and perhaps a scatter of diced green chilli and a tablespoon of tahini.