Tagine is named for the conical clay vessel it’s traditionally cooked in. However, that’s not necessary to make it delicious! What you really need is a balance of textures and layers of savory-sweet flavors. Luckily, our chefs created a delicious weeknight version that’s got all that and then some. In it, there’s fluffy couscous, hearty, stew-like veggies, fragrant spices, sweet apricots, and crunchy almonds. On top, there’s two flavorful sauces: lemon cream and chermoula. The chermoula’s chock full of cilantro, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and jalapeño, which adds the perfect punch. If this all sounds complicated, it’s not! All you need is 30 minutes for this awesome dish to land on your table.
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Veggie Stock Concentrate
Tunisian Spice Blend
Wash and dry all produce. Mince cilantro. Zest and halve lemon (for 4 servings, zest 1 lemon and halve both). Mince jalapeño, removing ribs and seeds for less heat. Halve, peel, and dice onion. Trim and halve zucchini lengthwise; cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick half-moons. Mince or grate garlic. Drain and rinse chickpeas; pat dry with paper towels.
In a small bowl, combine cilantro, 2 TBSP olive oil (3 TBSP for 4 servings), a pinch of garlic, salt, and pepper. Add lemon juice to taste and as much jalapeño as you like. Taste and add more garlic if desired. In a separate small bowl, combine sour cream, a pinch of salt, and as much lemon zest as you like. Add water 1 tsp at a time until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add ¼ of the onion; cook, stirring, until just softened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in ¾ cup water (1½ cups for 4 servings), half the stock concentrates (you’ll use the rest later), and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then stir in couscous. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand until ready to serve.
Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and remaining onion. Cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned, 5-7 minutes (7-10 minutes for 4 servings). Add Tunisian Spice, remaining garlic, and a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Stir ⅓ cup water (⅔ cup for 4 servings) and remaining stock concentrates into pan. Stir in chickpeas and bring to a low simmer. Cook until liquid is slightly reduced, 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low; stir in 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4) until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
Fluff couscous with a fork; stir in 1 TBSP butter (2 TBSP for 4). Season with salt and pepper. Divide between plates and top with tagine. Top with almonds and apricots. (TIP: Toast almonds before adding if you like.) Drizzle with lemon cream and chermoula. Drizzle with hot sauce if desired. Cut remaining lemon into wedges; serve on the side.