Root Vegetable Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Chickpeas

Summary: A delicious fall/winter vegetarian dish adapted from Bon Appétit. The original recipe calls for making spiced and roasted chickpeas and serving them atop the tagine. I didn't find that worth it so just stir the chickpeas into the tagine midway through and add a dash of cayenne.
DO AHEAD: Spice blend and preserved lemon can be made 1 week ahead. Store spice blend airtight at room temperature. Transfer preserved lemon to small bowl; cover and chill.

Yield: serves 6-8


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, cut into very thin rounds*
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1¼ cups half-inch cubes of peeled carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1¼ pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 pound turnips (about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 3/4" wedges
  • 3/4 cups brine-cured green olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cups sun-dried tomatoes (about 1 ounce; not oil-packed), thinly sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • cooked couscous


Toast coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in small skillet over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl. Add red pepper, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Mix lemon slices, lemon juice, and 4 teaspoons coarse salt in small skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lemon slices are almost tender, about 10 minutes. Cool preserved lemon. Drain and chop. **Or, buy a preserved lemon, chop half and stir in to combine.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add toasted spice blend, garlic, and tomato paste; stir 1 minute. Add carrots and celery; stir 2 minutes. Add chopped preserved lemon, 4 cups water, sweet potatoes, turnips, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and chickpeas. Simmer with lid ajar until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Stir in parsley, cilantro, and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Spoon couscous onto a serving platter, spreading to edges and leaving a well in the center. Spoon the tagine into the well. Serve.