All I can say is, it was sooooooooooo good, it’s now become a kitchen staple! I can barely find the words to sufficiently tell you how good this tasted. I guess you’ll have to take my word for it, but I can tell you that my friend agreed :) there was none left at the end of lunch!
So, what was it?
By way of research, and out of curiosity, I was recently perusing the shelves in my local supermarket and seeing what new products are on offer nowadays; I don’t shop much in supermarkets so it’s interesting to see the array of cuisines and flavours that are now becoming standard. Whether or not people are experimenting with the more diverse offerings I don’t know, but there is a whole new world of flavours available which I think is great – even better if you have the time and inclination to play with them yourself… :)
I came across a tiny jar of tagine paste; the collection of ingredients sounded interesting and piqued my interest, so I had a good look at the label and mused on it at home, then got busy in the kitchen to see what I might produce…this was it…calling it a paste doesn’t seem very inviting but I’m stumped for what else to call it…any ideas anyone? How about a ‘pastesensation’?? Because that’s what it is..
2 large banana shallots or 4 small round shallots, finely diced
6 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
250g tomato purée
5 tbsp rapeseed oil
5 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp dried pepper flakes
1 tsp ground roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp ground roasted coriander seeds
1 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp Turkish red chilli flakes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp roasted ground caraway seeds
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Mix everything together and leave it in the fridge for the flavours to develop overnight and/or for a day.
This can then be used in whatever way you fancy, so far I’ve eaten it as it is, added it to a bowl of ‘foul’ and added it to pan cooked vegetables…which is what you can see in this post, but I do think there is so much more you could do with it. Add it to a casserole or tagine; thin it down and use it as a marinade; use it as a salsa, basically, have a play. For my root vegetable dish..continuing with my theme of pan cooking vegetables..
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled
1 medium sweet potato, skin on
2 large carrots, peeled
Chop all of these root vegetables into small cubes, all the same size
In a wide based saucepan, heat a tablespoon of your chosen oil over a medium heat
Pan cook all of the cubed vegetables until they start to cook through, agitating a few times as they cook, but not too often, you’re not stir frying these vegetables
Once they’ve started to show signs of being cooked through, add half of the paste mix above and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes
Serve hot as a side dish or as a complete meal topped with cheese, or with chopped spring onions and tahini sauce over a bed of cooked grains like I did. This is quite a rich dish, so the tahini sauce was a perfect addition.
And if you’ve got leftovers, enjoy it all over again the next day, hot or cold. I had some in a wrap with goats cheese for lunch today.
I served mine with leftover spelt, freekeh and my dukkah Topped with the cooked vegetables, chopped spring onions and tahini sauce
I really cannot tell you just how good this is, you’ll just have to try it yourself! But I can tell you, I’ll be making this again and again, and already have done!