Caroline Cooks

A modest documentation of my culinary exploits.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tajine 1: Root Vegetable Tajine

Though I don't chase after food trends, the recent resurgence in slow cooking just happened to coincide with my own desire to get a crock pot. Embracing the crock pot required the dismissal of some deep-set notions, namely, that slow cookers must be relegated to the dominion of chilis and beef stews. Contrary to popular belief, you can make lovely crock pot meals that demand neither the abandonment of fresh vegetables nor the adoption of artery-clogging meats.

I chose to baptize my new crock pot with an all-vegetable tajine. I've never been certain of what encompasses a tajine, exactly. If it requires the specialized pot, then mine is not truly a tajine but a shoddy adaptation. Nevertheless, I think I can get away with throwing together some vegetables and Moroccan spices and calling it a tajine, don't you?

The time you save by not tending to the actual cooking process is replaced with time spent peeling, chopping, and dicing, but the results are worth it. Since it was the dead of winter, I selected a medley of seasonal root vegetables-- parsnips, turnips, and carrots-- and a craving for okra compelled me to add some of that as well. I'm leaving the okra out of the recipe, though, because it shouldn't stew as long as the other vegetables and that interferes with the simplicity of crock pot cookery. If you want to include it, throw it in at the last minute or else you'll end up with okra mush.

1 pound parsnips, peeled and diced
1 pound turnips, peeled and diced
1 pound carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
10 dried apricots, chopped
10 dried dates, chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried cilantro
32 oz vegetable broth

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and toss until evenly mixed. Cover and cook on low about 6 hours, or until the vegetables are tender but not overcooked (mine were cooked a little too long).


Blogger EEP said...

Your tajine spelled great while it was cooking. It made me quite hungry the whole time!

12:41 AM  

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