This vegetable tajine is one of our favorites. It is a stew cooked in a traditional clay vessel called a ‘Tajine.’ The tajine’s base is shallow and wide, while the lid is dome-like. Its cooking method is very much like braising. It is put on a low flame, or coal, and requires little water.
Nutritional value of winter vegetables
Cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous family, which is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is an excellent choice for people on a diet as it is low in carbs and calories. Carrots are also well known for their high beta-carotene content, which turns into vitamin A in the body. They also contain other vitamins and minerals that are good for overall health.
When it comes to potatoes, many think that they only contain starch. The truth is potatoes are rich in vitamins, especially in their skin. However, there is a slight nutritional difference between varieties. Therefore, it is better to mix it up and not stick to only one kind.
We all know that cooking destroys most of the nutritional value of vegetables despite helping digestion. However, not everything is lost. It is mainly the water-soluble vitamins C and B that leach into the cooking water, so it is best to consume and avoid discarding it. Also, some vegetables are more beneficial if cooked. The bottom line is to mix it up between cooked and raw to obtain a balanced diet.
A few years ago, I started my journey to better eating habits, and eliminating fried food was the first step. However, since the original recipe calls for frying the cauliflower florets, I had to figure out another way without compromising the flavor.
I tried steaming the cauliflower, but it turned out bland. Then I tried roasting, which was a better choice. After cutting the cauliflower head into florets, massage them with olive oil. The latter brings an extra level of flavor. Next, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and transfer them into a preheated oven at 400F ( 200C). Roast for twenty minutes.
Don’t worry about seasoning the cauliflower. It will be added to the tajine later and basted with the sauce. I also roast the potatoes alongside the cauliflower. I used to add them straight to the tajine, but after trying roasting them first, the taste was much better.
What is next?
For this tajine, you will put chicken, any cuts you prefer, in the pot. Then add onions, minced garlic, parsley, cilantro, and preserved lemons. Finally, drizzle some olive oil and spices over everything, trying to rub them into the chicken.
The spices are what make tajines unique. First, dilute the salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, and paprika in a half cup of water, then pour over the chicken. Add diced carrots on top of the chicken, then cover and simmer on a medium flame for ten minutes.
Once roasted, transfer the cauliflower and potatoes to the tajine. Using a ladle or a spoon, baste them with the sauce. Put the cover back and continue cooking for another twenty minutes, or until the chicken is done.
Garnish the dish with green olives and enjoy it with a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the juices.
Cauliflower And Chicken Tajine
- 2 tbsp olive oil for the tajine and some for the cauliflower.
- 1 chopped onion
- 1/4 minced preserved lemon
- 11/2 lbs bone-in chicken pieces
- 3 tbsp a mix of chopped parsley and cilantro
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cauliflower head cut into florets
- 2 lbs diced potatoes
- Preheat the oven to a 425F (200C).
- In the meantime, clean and cut the cauliflower. Then place it on the baking sheet, drizzle olive oil and salt over it, and mix to coat.
- Transfer the cauliflower to the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
- In a tajine or a braising pan, place the oil, onions, parsley, cilantro, preserved lemon, and all seasoning over the chicken pieces. Then turn on the heat to medium. Place the lid and allow to simmer.
- Peel, clean, and dice the potatoes.
- After the chicken has been simmering for 15 minutes, place the potatoes on top of it. Then put the lid back and continue cooking.
- After 20 minutes of roasting, transfer the roasted cauliflower to the tajine. Spoon some cooking liquid over it, then put back the lid.
- The Tajine is ready once everything is tender and the sauce has thickened.