If you are looking for a hearty and healthy dinner, try this Root Vegetable and Cauliflower Tagine. The ingredient list may seem long, but, once the chopping is done, this vegetarian stew is done in 40 minutes. The spices give the tagine great flavour, and the currants provide a bit of sweetness. The recipe includes a tangy yogurt parsley sauce. If you are not a strict vegetarian, you can use chicken stock. I also used garlic-stuffed olives, because I had them on hand. I substituted turmeric for the saffron.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the labels on the yogurt, tomato paste, spices, stock, chickpeas, currants and olives. Astro Original brand Balkan-style yogurt contains no artificial ingredients. I used No-Name tomato paste, No-Name currants, PC Blue Menu chickpeas, President’s Choice garlic-stuffed olives and Imagine brand chicken stock. Make sure the spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Saute onion and garlic with spices

Simmer parsnips and turnips in liquid

Add the cauliflower and sweet potato later

Root Vegetable and Cauliflower Tagine with Parsley Yogurt


1 ½ cups plain whole-milk yogurt

¼ cup finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice

1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth

Pinch of saffron threads

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

½ cauliflower (1 pound), cut into bite-size florets

Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup dried currants

1 ½ cups pitted green olives, quartered


In a bowl, whisk the yogurt with the ¼ cup of parsley and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, coriander, crushed red pepper, caraway and cinnamon and cook, stirring, until fragrant and glossy, about 3 minutes.

Add the turnips, parsnips, tomatoes and their liquid, broth, saffron and 1 cup of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the turnips and parsnips are beginning to soften, about 20 minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, chickpeas and currants to the pot. Cover partially and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the olives and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the tagine to a serving bowl, garnish with parsley and serve with the yogurt.

From the November 2012 issue of Food and Wine