We may only just have stepped into March but it seems Spring really is upon us. Hayley’s post last week showed the first crocuses opening up to the warming sun and now the daffodils are just waiting burst into life. I certainly can’t deny the excitement of the new life that Spring brings but it’s not all good news…
Food-wise March is when the Winter crops start to come to an end but there’s not much in the way of new crops ready to harvest, cue the Hungry gap. Around this time last year I shared this delicious roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad to celebrate the last of the Winter brassicas. This year to celebrate the end of Winter I’ve got a delicious and warming root vegetable tagine to get us through the last (hopefully) of the cold Winter days.
I used what root veg I had to hand from my organic vegetable box delivery but you could use whatever you happen to have. I think parsnips and carrots are a must but celeriac or swede can work well if you don’t have squash or jerusalem artichokes. The only thing to be mindful of is the different cooking times, I find parsnips and jerusalem artichokes tend to take a bit longer than squash so either get these in first and the others 5-10 miuntes later or chop them that bit smaller.
Winter Root Vegetable Tagine
2 jerusalem artichokes
2 golden nugget squash
2 cloves garlic
Thumb sized piece of ginger
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tin of tomoatoes
1 tin of chickpeas
1/2 pint of vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of saffron
- Finely chop the onion and gently fry in a large pan with the olive oil and garlic until soft and starting to brown.
- Add the chopped ginger and spices (leaving the saffron for now) and fry for a few minutes until the oil starts to release from the spices. Add a tablespoon or so of water to the pan and stir to make the mixture a paste.
- Pour in the tin of tomatoes, stir and leave on a medium-high heat until the tomatoes have cooked right down and most of the water has evaporated.
- Meanwhile chop all the root root vegetables into bite sized cubes and pit and halve the dates.
- Add them to the reduced tomatoes along with the remaining ingredients including the saffron. The stock should just about cover all the vegetables, add a little extra water to cover if needs be. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce the heat and cook on the hob on a medium-low heat for 30-40minutes until all the vegetables are tender. The longer the better!
- Serve with couscous or quinoa for a delicious and hearty meal.