Spring Vegetable Tagine over Couscous

With spring just around the corner we here at Bauman College are looking forward to warmer days ahead and the abundance of spring crops.  Here is a fun and healthy spring time recipe we recommend.  Enjoy!

A simple and quick vegetarian version of Moroccan tagine. The combination of spring vegetables, sweet dried apricots, and exotic spices, make this a unique dish. The tagine is served over couscous, a grain dish made from semolina wheat that is a staple food of North Africa that was developed by some of the first inhabitants of Morocco, the Berbers. Look for whole wheat couscous at the market for a less refined dish.

1 Tbs medium-high heat fat
5 cups vegetable stock, divided
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 pinch saffron threads
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
4 canned whole tomatoes, chopped

2 large (or 4 small) yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2
inch cubes
2 large carrots, medium roll cut
1 bunch asparagus, bottom of stems
removed, cut into 1 inch slices
1/2 cup dried apricots, Turkish if available,
1 cup fresh peas, shelled (or frozen,
2 cups whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs harissa (from separate recipe)
salt and pepper, to taste

1.) Heat a medium stockpot on medium heat. Add 1 Tbs of the medium-high heat fat and add the onion. Cook until softened and lightly golden, stirring often for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for another minute.
2.) Stir in 2 cups of the stock, the spices, tomatoes, and potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, covered.
3.)  Add the carrots, asparagus, dried apricots, and peas, continuing to simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 7-10 minutes.
4.)  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the remaining 3 cups of stock to a boil. Stir in the couscous and drizzle in a little olive oil. Cover and remove from the heat. Let stand until all the stock is absorbed, 7 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
5.)  Just before serving, add the cilantro, lemon juice, and harissa to the stewed vegetables. Stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper as necessary and serve over the hot couscous. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.
Servings: 12

Source: Bauman, E. and Friedlander, J. (2012). Nutrition Essentials for Everyone Workbook. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College Press