Lots of things modern Israeli restaurant Dagon is fine – like their fattouche, hummus and mezze – but their From Vegetables Tajine with roasted eggplant, cauliflower, rice pilaf, harissa, toasted almonds and herb broth has to be at the top of the list. Chief Ari Bokovza‘Green Celebration Stew’ draws inspiration from his Tunisian and Israeli family heritage and is the perfect vegetarian summer dish.
“This stew is a very common dish served all over the Middle East, but I’ve always come across it in Jerusalem,” he explains.
Keep reading to find out how to make the ultimate vegetable tagine, what to serve it with, and some pro tips along the way.
Related: 22 Easy Stew Recipes From Around The World
What is a vegetable tagine?
A tagine (a North African stew) made with vegetables and non-animal products.
What is a North African vegetable tagine?
Usually it is a spicy tagine with native North African flavors/condiments such as preserved lemon, harissa, olives and cinnamon.
Related: How to Make a Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Which vegetables are best in a tagine?
Personally, I like vegetables to be balanced with different textures, some cooked, some raw.
What do you serve with a vegetable tagine?
We serve ours with rice pilaf, but again, whatever you like.
Ingredients for vegetable tagine
- 600 grams white onion, thinly sliced
- 350 grams thinly sliced spring onion whites, thinly sliced greens, separated
- 600 grams of celery, thinly sliced
- 140 grams of garlic, thinly sliced
- 80 grams thinly sliced long green chillies, with seeds
- 140 grams of chopped dill
- 100 grams cilantro, chopped
- 255 grams of chopped parsley
- 2 pounds of spinach (1 bag)
- 2 cups of EVOO
- 6 liters of vegetable stock
- 2 dried limes
- Fried cauliflower (small florets, fried in 350 oil until golden, then salted and tossed with lemon juice)
- Japanese eggplant confit (eggplant medallions, salted, covered in EVOO and candied in the oven at 250 degrees for 90 minutes or until tender)
- Roasted almonds
- Rice pilaf
How to make a vegetable tagine
1. Sweat the garlic and chilli in olive oil; some color is ok.
2. Next, add the onions and sweat until soft. some color is ok.
3. Next, add the celery and sweat.
4. Next, add the onion leaves, herbs and spinach.
5. Sweat until everything is reduced.
6. Add broth and simmer until good.
7. Ladle the stew into a bowl or tagine and top with cauliflower, eggplant, toasted almonds, harissa and rice pilaf.
Related: 21 Best Rice Dishes
How to make Dagon Rice Pilaf
- 700 grams of basmati rice, rinsed 3 times and covered with cold water for 1 hour
- 800 grams of water
- 5 grams of turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 cardamom pods, crushed
- 400 grams of chopped white onion
- 25 grams of salt
- 150 grams of EVOO
- 2 bay leaves
- Wooden spoon and rubber spatula
- Parchment/tin foil
- Set the oven to 350
- Heat the oil and sweat the onion a little the color is ok
- Add the spices and the berry and cook for a few minutes.
- Drain the rice and add it to the pot.
- Grill until fragrant (3 minutes)
- Be sure to scrape up the bottom with the wooden spoon.
- Add water and salt.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover with parchment paper and then aluminum foil.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork.
- Reserve in a bain-marie.