Apricot and Olive Tagine Recipe
Apricot and Olive Tagine is a captivating and flavorful North African dish that can be wonderfully adapted to suit a vegan diet. This plant-based version of the classic tagine replaces meat with an assortment of hearty vegetables, creating a wholesome and satisfying stew that remains true to the essence of North African cuisine.
In this vegan adaptation, dried apricots infuse a subtle sweetness, while green olives provide a delightful briny contrast. The aromatic blend of spices, such as cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, creates a rich and fragrant sauce. The slow-cooking method in a tagine pot allows all the ingredients to meld together, resulting in a dish that beautifully balances sweet and savory flavors. Served with couscous, rice, or crusty bread, Vegan Apricot and Olive Tagine is a delightful culinary journey that showcases the richness and diversity of North African flavors.
Here's a delicious Apricot and Olive Tagine recipe using ingredients commonly available in the United Kingdom:
For the Tagine:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 zucchini (courgette), sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup green olives, pitted
- 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (for sweetness, adjust to taste)
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Cooked couscous, rice, or crusty bread
How to cook Apricot and Olive Tagine Recipe
1. Prepare the Vegetables: Heat the olive oil in a large tagine, Dutch oven, or deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent.
2. Add Aromatics and Spices: Stir in the minced garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
3. Vegetable Sauté: Add the chopped red and yellow bell peppers, sliced carrots, and sliced zucchini to the pot. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
4. Incorporate Remaining Ingredients: Add the drained chickpeas, chopped dried apricots, pitted green olives, diced tomatoes (with their juice), vegetable broth, and honey or maple syrup to the pot. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
5. Simmer and Cook: Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cover the tagine or pot with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together. Stir occasionally.
6. Adjust Seasoning: Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt, pepper, or sweetener to suit your taste.
7. Serve: Garnish the Vegan Apricot and Olive Tagine with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve it hot with cooked couscous, rice, or crusty bread. Accompany it with lemon wedges for a touch of brightness.
Health Benefits of Apricot and Olive Tagine Recipe:
1. Nutrient-Rich: Apricot and Olive Tagine is abundant in essential nutrients, thanks to the variety of vegetables it contains. It provides vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, contributing to overall well-being.
2. Plant-Based Goodness: This vegan dish is a wonderful source of plant-based nutrition. It offers vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the vegetables, herbs, and spices, supporting a balanced vegan diet.
3. Dietary Fiber: The vegetables and legumes in the tagine are rich in dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.
4. Heart-Healthy: The inclusion of green olives adds heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which are associated with improved heart health and may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Antioxidant Properties: Many of the spices and ingredients, including dried apricots and spices like cumin and coriander, are known for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and protect cells from damage.
6. Weight Management: The fiber and well-balanced flavors of this dish can contribute to a feeling of fullness, making it a satisfying choice for those looking to manage their weight.
7. Reduced Saturated Fat: Apricot and Olive Tagine is naturally low in saturated fat, a type of fat associated with an increased risk of heart disease when consumed in excess.
8. Vegan Diet Benefits: Consuming plant-based meals like this tagine may have numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic diseases, improved weight control, and better overall health.
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