In our CSA share last week we received some turnips. I’ve never used them before except for in chicken soup, and it wasn’t the best recipe I’ve ever used. Usually I have a few sources that I immediately turn to for recipes, but in this case I was pretty clueless. I think I ended up searching for turnip recipes on Google, and found that Bon Appetit’s website has a whole section on what to do with root vegetables. Perfect, as they are now in prime season. It just so happened that I had all of the other root vegetables already stocked in the fridge, waiting to be used.

Root Vegetable Tangine with Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Turnips, and Spiced Chickpeas
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
4 and 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 and 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 and 1/4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled carrots
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cups water
1 and 1/4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound turnips (about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
3/4 cup brine-cured green olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 1 ounce; not oil-packed), thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 10-ounce box plain couscous (cooked according to package directions)

Spice Roasted Chickpeas

3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 15- to 151/2-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed, well dried
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Coarse kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toast cumin seeds and coriander seeds in small skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground. Place chickpeas, olive oil, pinch of cayenne, and ground spices in medium bowl. Sprinkle with coarse salt; toss to coat evenly. Transfer to small rimmed baking sheet. Roast in oven until lightly browned and crunchy, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.

 

For the Tangine:

Toast coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in small skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl. Add red pepper, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix lemon slices, lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in small skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lemon slices are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Cool preserved lemon. Drain and chop.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add toasted spice blend, garlic, and tomato paste; stir 1 minute. Add carrots and celery; stir 2 minutes. Add chopped preserved lemon, 4 cups water, sweet potatoes, turnips, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer with lid ajar until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Stir in parsley, cilantro, and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Spoon couscous into large bowl, spreading out to edges and leaving well in center. Spoon vegetable tagine into well in center. Sprinkle Spice-Roasted Chickpeas over and serve.

I was really excited to try this dish. I love any kind of Moroccan food, and it featured so many different ingredients. I was interested to see how the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and preserved lemon pulled together. And whoaaa did they! This dish was jam-packed with all sorts of flavors, and eat bite was different from the previous one. The lemon flavor was probably the strongest, but there were tastes of cumin, caraway seed, sun-dried tomato, and spice from the red pepper. The different root vegetables also gave the dish an ever-changing texture, from the heavy and sweet potatoes to the slippery , tangy turnips. The chickpeas on top were awesome, and I ate them throughout the week as a quick snack. I’d make them again on their own just to have around the house, or to serve to guests in replacement of nuts. They were nice and crisp and just the right amount of spicy.

This was also my first time working with preserved lemons. It was so much easier than I could have imagined. After putting them on the stove to simmer, I basically forgot about them until they were just about ready. Mixed them in and ate the slices whole, right in with the rest of the dish.

This is an awesome dish for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone who appreciates a really delicious and flavorful meal.

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