Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Moroccan Green Bean Tagine

Tonight our culinary journey takes us to Morocco!  This is a spicy (as in spice-y, not as in hot) and rich vegetable dish that will absolutely stun you with the way it manages to be complex and simple at the same time.  You'll need to raid the spice cupboard for this one, so be prepared!

I know this looks a lot like a green bean dish I made a few weeks ago, but it's actually quite different.  It's all about the spices - allspice, chile powder, garam masala, basil, and paprika all together?  Who's have thought they could combine so naturally.  They mingle and get lost in one another to the point where I think you'd be hard pressed to identify the individual spices if you didn't make it yourself.   The flavor is finished off with a tangy red wine vinegar glaze.

This would be gorgeous over cous cous or even rice, but I chose to go the traditional Moroccan route and scoop it up with flat bread (I used pita because it was what I had on hand) - no bed of grains needed! 

Moroccan Green Bean Tagine
adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper
serves 3


1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons dry red or white wine
one 15-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
water as needed


1.  Heat oil over medium-high in a large, straight-sided saute pan.  Add green beans and onions, and season with salt and pepper.  Saute for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are browning.  Stir in garlic and all the spices (allspice through paprika); cook until fragrant, no more than one minute.

2.  Pour in the vinegar and wine, and boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up any browned bits.  When the liquid is completely gone, stir in tomatoes and their juices.  The green beans should be just barely covered in liquid - you will need to add some water to accomplish this.  Bring to a bare simmer and cover; cook, removing lid to stir occasionally, for 10 minutes or until beans are tender.

3.  Remove the cover and raise heat to a rapid boil.  Cook off excess liquid, stirring often to protect the beans from burning.  Cook until the sauce is thick and rich.  Season as necessary and serve.



  1. Fantastic! This could be used with other vegetables too, I assume?