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I've raved about Cranks before when I partnered with them on a Homity Pie re-vamp, so when they got in touch to ask if I would be interested in hosting a Cranks Supperclub to celebrate the launch of the new Winter Menu down at the Cranks Kitchen in Totnes, Devon, I jumped at the chance!
Hosting a supperclub sounded like a lot of fun, (a supperclub is basically a pop-up restaurant in your own home). Well-established and regular supperclubs can do really well, and be great fun for both hosts and guests. Take a look at this Guardian article for tips on starting your own! However, rather than unleashing my food on the unsuspecting general public, I opted for the slightly safer option of inviting some lovely friends for a Cranks supper instead.
Cranks Kitchen has a fabulous winter-warmer tagine on their menu, and I decided to take the idea and make my own Moroccan-inspired Lemony Sweet Potato & Olive Vegan Tagine, full of preserved lemons, dried apricots, chilli and cinnamon, bringing a little whiff of North Africa to this chilly corner of Hertfordshire.
I've written up the recipe below if you're interested in trying it yourself. And having made too much and eaten it for three days in a row, I can confirm that it gets better with age, so this is great to make in advance if you're entertaining!.
.I served the tagine with this bright green herby couscous with pistachios, which was based on this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi's fabulous book Plenty.
In the mad rush to get food to the table I completely forgot to photograph my little chilli flatbreads which were served with the main course, primarily to dunk in the hummus below.
These were super-easy to make, just a basic bread dough spiked with a little chilli, divided into 12 and each part rolled thinly, then dry-fried in a frying pan for a minute each side until golden brown and starting to blister. I wrapped them in a clean tea towel until serving, to keep them warm and soft. The thinner you roll your flatbreads, the more likely they are to turn crispy a few minutes after cooking, but wrapping them seems to keep in the steam and leaves them softer for longer...
And of course, no Moroccan-inspired feast would be complete without some homemade hummus, and I used my trusty roasted garlic hummus recipe which I posted a few months ago.
I have a huge tub of this left over which is such a bonus - lunchtimes have been hummus-based all week, yum!
Vegan Tagine: Shopping List
You will need:
- Red onions
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh ginger
- Sweet potatoes
- Red chilli
- Fresh coriander
- Fresh parsley
- Tinned chickpeas
- Preserved lemons
- Vegetable stock powder
- Pitted olives
- Dried apricots
- Pine nuts
Don't forget to pin the recipe for later, or to share with friends → → → → →
Do send me pictures of your very own vegan tagine on:
to show me how you got on!
Lemony Sweet Potato Tagine
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 red onions, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled & grated
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 400 g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 red chilli finely sliced
- 2 small preserved lemons, finely chopped (include all the peel and pulp)
- 2 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 3 tbsp pitted olives (I used purple olives, but use whatever colour you have to hand)
- 100 g dried apricots finely chopped
- juice of ½ a lemon
- handful fresh coriander and parsley
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish, and gently fry the onions for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, sweet potatoes and chickpeas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the turmeric, sugar, chilli, preserved lemons & stock powder, then cover with boiling water and simmer gently for 15 minutes, covered with a lid.
- Add the olives and apricots, season with salt, and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are cooked through. You may need to add a little more water to create a thick sauce-like consistency.
- Stir through two thirds of the fresh herbs and the lemon juice, stir well, then divide between bowls and scatter with the remaining herbs and pine nuts.
There are plenty of similarly quick and easy recipes in my new book, 'Vegan in 15'*. Hop over to Amazon for a look. Thanks for your support!
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Disclosure: This vegan tagine post was sponsored by Cranks, who paid me to host the supperclub. All opinions are my own.