Thursday 10 January 2013

Tagine of Lima Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Black Olives

From Tagines & Couscous, Ghillie Başan, Ryland Peters and Small, 2010.

I always enjoy a good tagine and was in the mood to try another. This one was for butter beans, which I didn’t have, but there were lima beans in the pantry. So I soaked about 150g overnight. The next day they were drained, washed under running cold water and placed in a saucepan to cook for about an hour.

The main tagine then began. Four garlic cloves were peeled and crushed. Two red onions were cut in half and then into slices. A red chilli was sliced finely. These all went into the tagine with some olive oil and a knob of butter. They were cooked gently until softened.

Next into the pan went a teaspoon of coriander seeds given a little pound in the mortar and pestle, a small teaspoon of fresh ginger grated (the recipe called for heaps more than this: 25g, far too much in my reckoning), and a pinch of saffron. The lid went on the tagine and they were cooked for about 5 minutes.

Tomatoes were next. A punnet of cherry tomatoes went straight into the pan with a teaspoon of sugar and a little dried thyme. I was wary of the thyme and only added a little though 1–2 teaspoons was called for. This mixture was cooked until the tomatoes began to crinkle up.

Now the lima beans were added with some olives and the juice of a lemon. Seasonings were sprinkled in and it was all stirred and the lid went on for a few minutes to let it all heat through. Parsley was added when it was served.

I was a little disappointed with this tagine. Usually they are rich in flavours but there was something not quite right with the spice mix. I don’t think the ginger and the thyme went well together. Ginger, thyme and coriander is a blend I think I’ll avoid in future.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔

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