Needless to say, the month of December got away from me a bit.
It did involve some classic moments such as this one:
aaand the best:
…but now I’m back in DC post a wintry (well, not so wintry – let’s say an almost-too-sunny) Carolina-San Francisco tour and with no meat in the fridge and a vegetarian houseguest on the way I finally have an excuse to revive the blog and an old favorite recipe at the same time with a chickpea tagine.
You will need:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 onion, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 small potatoes or 1 large, diced
2 tomatoes, quartered
2 zucchinis, diced (or a zuke and a yellow squash)
2 slices of preserved lemon (if you have it, otherwise substitute regular lemon)
Generous bunch of cilantro, chopped
Salt, pepper, ras al hanut (if you have it), cumin, paprika, turmeric and cinnamon (generous pinches all around, according to your taste)
Harissa (North African hot sauce…if you can’t find it, you can substitute your favorite hot sauce)
You can also serve with a drizzle of harissa oil, if you can locate some (for those lucky enough to be in the NC mountains, you can find some here)
In a tagine or large saucepan, saute onion in oil/butter on low heat till onions are translucent.
Add garlic, chickpeas, potato, tomato, and not quite enough veggie stock or water to cover everything; add the spices and then let cook, covered, 15 minutes, on medium heat.
Add zucchini, cilantro, and lemon; adjust seasonings to taste; lower heat to medium low and cook uncovered for about fifteen minutes; then turn down heat and cook, uncovered, till most liquid has boiled off and the potatoes are done (in the last 20-25 minutes or so, monitoring the potatoes is the key to cooking everything to the right consistency: when the potatoes are done, so is everything else. Tasting potatoes is also a great opportunity to test the spices and adjust. I usually end up adding more cinnamon at this stage).
Garnish with a bit of fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of pepper; serve with harissa and plain yogurt. You may want to remove your slices of lemon to make sure an unsuspecting guest doesn’t accidentally eat it…