Potato Tajine is Sephardi food at its simplest and most fragrant.
Straight from the Moroccan kitchen of my childhood.
Potato Tajine is ridiculously simple:
Easy ingredients, easy maintenance. I have included several variations of this potato tajine to make it a full one-pot dish, but you can choose to make this potato tajine a wonderful all-vegetable main course or just a side dish. When you see what magic the preserved lemon does to this dish, you will never ever want to run out!
If you don’t have preserved lemons on hand, settle for fresh lemons.
- 2 dozen very small organic potatoes, unpeeled, halved potatoes (only organic potatoes are safe with their skin on)
- 2 dozen green pitted olives, rinsed
- 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes, or 4 plum tomatoes, diced small
- 1 medium onion, sliced very thin
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- Good pinch red pepper flakes, optional
- 3 cups water
- 1 small bunch parsley
- ¼ preserved lemon skin only, rinsed (settle for 1 fresh lemon, sliced thin, skin and all, but use it in the first set of ingredients above)
- 4 sprigs cilantro, tough stems, discarded
Bring the first set of ingredients to boil in a wide heavy pot. Reduce the heat to medium and cook covered for 30 minutes.
In a food processor, finely grind the parsley, preserved lemon, and cilantro and stir this mixture gently into the pot. Cook another 15 minutes With a slotted spoon, transfer all ingredients to a platter, leaving mostly the cooking liquids. If they are too thin, reduce a few minutes on a high flame until the sauce thickens, and pour evenly over the dish. Serve hot. Room temperature OK too. Makes 8 servings.
- Use 2 large heads fennel, cut in thin wedges, instead of, or in addition to, the potatoes. Proceed just as above.
- Use a large head celery root, cut into 1" cubes, instead of, or in addition to, the potatoes. Proceed just as above.
- Use a dozen frozen and thawed artichoke bottoms, larger ones quartered, instead of, or in addition to, the potatoes. Proceed just as above.
- Make this a chicken main dish. Cook the dish with chicken pieces. Proceed just as above, cooking the dish a little longer if necessary until the chicken is tender.
- Make this a fish main dish. Add sliced salmon or other thick-sliced fish, or tilapia fillets, all boneless, after about 15 minutes. Proceed just as above.
- Make this a vegetarian main dish. Add extra firm tofu or tempeh, diced, or two cups cooked chickpeas. Proceed just as above.