Broad bean and lemon tagine

Very simple, lightly spiced. Is this Moroccan? It is cooked in a tagine and it does use preserved lemon, which are two hallmarks of Moroccan cooking. However the thyme is generally thought of as more Mediterranean than North African. The herb is however widely used across the region and in as comfortable in Middle Eastern cuisines as Italian and Greek. Who knows. Quit asking difficult questions and just eat!


  • 2 cups of shelled broad beans (*)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • a few thin slices of red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of light miso
  • 1 small preserved lemon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon each of fresh thymes leaves, and fresh lemon thyme leaves. Chopped.
  • black pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • water

To do:

  • If using frozen broad beans, bring them to a rolling boil for a few minutes first in small saucepan. Doing so will reduce your cooking time for the tagine in the oven by up to 45 minutes compared to what it would have been had you put the frozen beans straight into the tagine! Use the boiled water as stock in the tagine.
  • Thoroughly mix everything, making sure the miso is dissolved evenly
  • Add enough of the water to cover the beans
  • Bake at inferno setting in a preheated oven for around 45 minutes (or about 90 minutes if you didn’t thaw your frozen broad beans!)

* Broad beans are one of the few vegetables The VegHeads keeps in the house “snap frozen”. The VegHead and SheWhoMustBeFed adore fresh broad beans when they are in season and we will happily shell them and then individually peel them – there’s nothing like fresh broad beans lightly steamed or quickly blanched. However The VegHead once weighed all the discarded shells etc and confirmed the suspicion that when you buy fresh broad beans by weight you are paying for one third edible beans, and two thirds compost feed. And they’re not cheap to begin with. So any other dish we cook using broad beans (which generally means a tagine) we use organic, snap frozen broad beans instead.

Fragrant Moroccan Vegetable

A not at all hot, but very fragrantly spicy vegetable tagine. Lets hope that The Bandit and Octavia’s Daughter like it. If they don’t, their warm jackets and car keys are just to hand.

What was in the fridge and might just be in yours:

  • 2 courgettes – thickly sliced
  • 1 sweet potato – cubed
  • 1/2 a medium aubergine – cubed
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and segmented
  • 1 medium tomato – cubed
  • 1/2 a cup of your favourite olives
  • 1 small preserved lemon – chopped
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of miso
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of crushed dried chilli
  • 1 cup of boiled water
  • Olive oil

For making a party in your tagine:

  • Pre-dissolve the miso in the hot water
  • Mix everything into the tagine
  • Bake at inferno setting for 45 minutes

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Haricot bean tagine

This was made as a companion to Fragrant Moroccan Vegetables, for The Bandit and Octavia’s Daughter. The two tagines nestled together snugly in the oven while the loinfruits made occasionally disturbing thumps in the lounge room.

What you would need:

  • 3 cups of cooked haricot beans
  • 1 cup of passata
  • 1 tablespoon of miso
  • 2 cloves of garlic – chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ras el hanout
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 cup of boiled water
  • Olive oil

For the doing:

  • Pre-dissolve the miso paste in the boiled water
  • Give everything else a good mix before slopping it stylishly into the tagine
  • Add more water if necessary

And bake in a stinking hot oven for 45 minutes or so. As always, this will cook in that time if the tagine and the oven are preheated while you’re preparing everything.

Black bean and sweet potato tagine

Black beans and sweet potato seem to like each other. The orange of the potato seems brightened against the black backdrop of the beans, while their flavours and consistencies are complementary. This is a very simple dish to make – say 15 minutes preparation time, and then between 45 and 60 minutes to bake. Put the oven on to preheat while you prepare everything else, and it will speed cooking time significantly if you place the empty tagine in the oven as it preheats. While the tagine heats up The VegHead meanwhile lumps all the ingredients into a bowl, which I then just empty into the tagine when ready.

  • 2 cups of cooked black beans
  • 1 medium orange sweet potato – cut a few strips and then dice the rest
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 small preserved lemon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite olives
  • 1 courgette; quarter lengthways and then halve those lengths giving eight slices
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of Ras-El-Hanout
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • generous amount of olive oil
  • (Optional) 1 small tomato, sliced
  • Aside from the courgette and the strips of sweet potato, mix all other ingredients and slop into the tagine
  • Arrange the courgette and sweet potato slices spoke-like around the top of the tagine, with the skin facing upward. Arrange the tomato slices between the spokes.
  • Add enough water to almost fill the base of the tagine
  • Bake in a hot oven for 60 minutes

Bean and lemon tagine

As the name would suggest, this is a very beany tagine and as such is quiet a heavy meal. It is thus best served with Golden Cous-Cous (which has some vegetables in it) in order to round out the meal. This recipe serves four people.

What goes in:

  • 800 grams (or so) of cooked haricot beans (or pinto, or half and half of each)
  • 2 small preserved lemons; chopped
  • 1 small onion, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 2 largish cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika (smoked paprika is a traditional spanish spice)
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet, light miso (dissolve in boiled water)
  • A clutch each of fresh parsely and coriander, chopped.
  • A generous splash of olive oil

The making:

  • Prehead oven to high, and preferably preheat the empty tagine
  • Mix all ingredients into the tagine
  • Add boiled water to below lip of tagine bowl
  • Bake on high for about 1 hour

Broad bean and aubergine tagine

Very tired last night after a busy weekend so this was perfect. 10 minutes to prepare, about an hour and a quarter to cook…


  • cup of broad beans (must admit I generally use frozen broad beans if I am putting them in a tagine. The fresh ones are WAY too expensive to use as an ingredient in spicy dishes. Fresh broad beans in season deserve to be respected through being lightly blanched and their flavour enjoyed to the fullest unadulterated)
  • cup of chopped aubergine
  • 1 small preserved lemon – chopped (if you make your own preserved lemons then one quarter of one lemon)
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite olives
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • berbere or harrissa paste (note to self…need to post those recipes up!)
  • handful of chopped parsley and also coriander
  • 1 courgette. Slice in quarters length-ways, and then halve those quarters cross-ways
  • water


  • Preheat oven to scalding. Preferable preheat the tagine too while you get everything else ready
  • If the broad beans are frozen, defrost them in some boiled water for 5 minutes as doing so will reduce baking time by about 20 minutes
  • Mix all the ingredients except for the courgette and pour into tagine
  • Arrange the eighths of courgette in a clockwheel around the top. Drizzle each lightly with a little more olive oil
  • add water until just below the level of the tagine base.
  • Bake the covered tagine for 60 to 75 minutes or until the water is mostly boiled away.

Serve with cous-cous

Chick Pea and Beetroot tagine

Beetroot is a misunderstood thing. Gorgeously purple. and almost the entire plant is edible….but more on that at another time. Seeing as today we had potatoes at lunchtime (see “Roast Potato and Onion Soup) then it seemed too-much-of-a-good-thing to have a starchy vegetable at dinner time. Hence…beetroot.


  • 2 medium beets. Top and tail, scrub and segment into smallish wedges
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (“garbanzo beans” if you’re a seppo)
  • 1 small onion. Thinly sliced.
  • 1 clove of garlic. Chopped.
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin powder.
  • 2 teaspoons of ground pepper.
  • Olive oil.
  • Sesame oil.
  • 2 tablespoons of light tahini.
  • Water.

What to do..

  • Preheat oven (I also put the empty tagine in straight away to begin to heat, while I get on with the preparation. As it is very heavy pottery it takes a long time for the tagine container itself to come to heat, and until it does the food inside is not cooking one little bit. Preheating the tagine can save you 30 minutes cooking time later)
  • Combine all ingredients except for the sesame oil into a tagine. If you don’t have a tagine then use any covered baking tray that is about 30cms in diameter.
  • Add water until the level is about 1cm below the edge of your tagine.
  • Bake on high for 45 minutes to 60 minutes
  • Lightly drizzle on the sesame oil before serving

Nice with couscous (or other grain), or some steamed vegetables.