Cauliflower and chickpea tagine with preserved lemon

This hearty tagine is typical of the type of dish cooked in the wooded Middle Atlas region and the lush valleys leading up to the High Atlas. It’s a tasty way of preparing cauliflower, broccoli or cabbage, and is often simply served with bread to mop up the sauce.

Serves 4-6

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tsp coriander seeds
1-2 tsp sugar
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cauliflower, trimmed into small florets
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2-3 tsp harissa
A bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper

Heat the oil in the base of a tagine or in a heavy-based saucepan, add the onion and cook for 2–3 minutes to soften. Add the garlic, coriander seeds and sugar, then cook for a further 2–3 minutes, until the onion and garlic begin to colour, then toss in the chickpeas and cauliflower florets.

Add the chopped tomatoes, stir in the harissa and pour in just enough water to cover the cauliflower. Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat, put on the lid, and cook the tagine gently for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower has become tender.

Season the tagine well with salt and pepper, toss in half the coriander and half the preserved lemon, then cook for a further 5–10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining coriander and preserved lemon.

From ‘Vegetarian Tagines and Couscous’ by Ghillie Basan (Ryland, Peters and Small)