Sunday 19 June 2011

Tagine of Artichokes, Potatoes, Peas and Saffron

Tagine of Artichokes, Potatoes, Peas and Saffron
from Tagines & Couscous, Ghillie Başan, Ryland Peters and Small, 2010.

I’ve been on a bit of a Moroccan cuisine phase lately and fascinated with cooking in the tagine. It’s not that easy to find recipes for meatless tagines so I was pleased to find this book that was based purely around tagines and couscous, although the meat-based recipes far outnumber the meatless.

This particular tagine states in the title that saffron is part of it. However, there is no saffron in the list of ingredients nor mention of it in the recipe itself. Lately I seem to be coming across books with recipes that have errors in them. It is disappointing because you depend upon the editors taking more care.

One other cookery book with errors,  quite a few in fact, is Vegetarian by Pippa Cuthbert and Lindsay Cameron Wilson. I did take the trouble of writing to the publishers, New Holland Publishers, to point out the errors but they didn’t even have the courtesy to acknowledge my mail. I guess they have no interest in what the purchasers of their books think. A poor attitude really because it does tend to work the other way as well. When I am purchasing cookery books in future the ones published by New Holland Publishers won't feature very high on my list.

The error in Ghillie Başan’s book is not a bad one. The recipe worked perfectly well without the saffron. There was turmeric in the dish so there was plenty of colour.

I had chosen this particular tagine because we were expecting a guest who disliked fruits in savoury dishes. This one did not have fruits but it did have preserved lemon. The meal turned out to be richly flavoured with spices and wonderful sudden hits of flavour when you bit into a piece of the preserved lemon.

It was also my first attempt at cooking with fresh artichokes. This part of the meal was not so successful as I don’t think I had prepared them totally correctly and we ended up having to use our fingers to pull off the leaves and drag them through our teeth. I don’t think this was the result intended. Nevertheless we enjoyed it all.

I'm sure I'll soon be back into this book to try out another tagine.

Taste: ✔✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

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