Monthly Archives: January 2008

Kitty’s Eggplant Tagine

Serves 4

I love eggplant’s versatility. It is one of the most widely used vegetables in the Mediterranean. It is often a substitute for meat. You can fry it, grill it (I often broil eggplant slices and freeze them. They don’t loose their consistency when thawed) or make this mouth-watering Moroccan tagine for couscous . Serve it cold, and it becomes a salad! 

2 medium eggplants
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely diced
2 large tomatoes, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Salt to taste

Peel the eggplants and cut lengthwise into 1-inch thick wedges . Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat, and cook onions until soft. Stir in half of the cubed tomatoes,  paprika, pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, covered, until mixture thickens somewhat. Add eggplant, remaining tomato and 1/2 cup water. Simmer until eggplant is quite soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt. To serve, sprinkle with cilantro. Serve over rice or couscous.

From The Vegetable Table: North Africa. Copyright 1996. Chronicle Books

Tagine of Fish and Seasonal Vegetables

Serves 4

30 sprigs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
20 sprigs cilantro, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
4 thick slices (4 to 6-ounces each) white fish, rinsed and patted dry
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
6 ribs celery, strings removed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, cleaned, and thinly sliced
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
20 pitted green olives
1/2 medium lemon, seeded, and cut into 1/8-inch slices
Freshly-ground pepper to taste
Wedges of lemon for garnish

For the marinade, in a large bowl, mix the parsley, cilantro, garlic, turmeric, paprika, cumin, and lemon juice. Stir to blend. Coat fish evenly with marinade. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes to overnight.

 In a small saucepan, blanch sliced carrots in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Prepare remaining vegetables for assembling the dish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. To assemble, place celery pieces at the bottom of a tagine dish or cast iron  casserole. Top  with carrot and zucchini slices. Cover with half the tomato and onion. Dot with half the olives. Season with salt and pepper. Set the fish on top of the vegetables. Layer remaining tomato and onion slices over the top. End with lemon slices and remaining olives. Cover with remaining marinade.

Cover tightly. Bake until vegetables are very tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired, and serve.