Thursday, 4 November 2010


I can't remember where I first came across this recipe, though I do recall that it included monkfish. The first time I made it, I decided the fish was an unnecessary addition to an otherwise delicious roasted vegetable tagine. This is another of those lovely comforting dishes, full of robust flavours and the colours of autumn, and it can be assembled in advance and then finished off when required.

Autumn vegetable tagine

Serves 4, or 2 pigs

1 aubergine, cubed
1 red or orange or yellow pepper, cut into approx 1 cm square pieces
Half a butternut squash, deseeded, peeled and cubed
1 red onion, cut into rough quarters
a whole head of garlic, cloves separate, skins left on
approx 200g cherry tomatoes
1 large carrot, cut into rough discs
approx 1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, drained of liquid
zest of 1 orange
a little chilli or Harissa paste
a handful of black olives
half a block of Halloumi cheese, sliced
chopped fresh coriander to garnish
olive oil
salt & pepper

Oven 200C

Lightly oil a large baking tray and tumble the chopped vegetables onto it, together with the garlic and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and scatter over the cumin seed. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for about 30 mins, or until the vegetable are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven. Mix in the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, Harissa or chilli (if using), orange zest and black olives. Check seasoning and adjust if required. Place the vegetable mixture in a tagine or heavy casserole and bake for a further 40 mins. Check periodically to make sure it does not dry out too much. Approx 10 mins before the end of cooking, place the Halloumi slices over the top. Serve with plenty of fresh coriander, more Harissa. This does not really require an accompaniment, though a serving of couscous, or Basmati rice works well. Oh, and a dollop of Ottolenghi yoghurt sauce. You could also serve this tagine as a side dish to a roast.

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