Thursday, November 4, 2010

Playing Catch Up

We had a lovely time hosting house guests from the Bay Area last weekend - don't we both just love showing off our paradise!  Not to mention enjoying the wonderful company and (of course) ye old food and drink. 

The oldest quince tree on the place - we have another planted not even a year ago that is not mature enough yet to bear fruit - took a bit of a rest this year and gave only about twenty or so fruits this year.  I was determined not to let a single one go to waste.   Last week on one of my days off work, I made membrillo, a very sweet quince paste/preserves number.  And, as I was pondering what else to make that didn't involve quite so much sugar, this month's Vegetarian Times arrived with The Answer:  Quince and Vegetable Tagine. 

In a shocking departure from precedent, I am posting the recipe on this blog.

Note: the original recipe calls for 2 small fennel bulbs which I detest so I left them out. If you want to use it, they go in with the cauliflower and zucchinis. Also, the chickpeas were something that I added to make this more of a main dish than a side. The original recipe called for 3 cups of water, but I found that to be too liquid-y so 1 or maybe 2 cups would work better.

Serves 4

2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 cups tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 tsp sugar
4 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
3 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and cut into 2 inch lengths
2 cups chickpeas, cooked
1 medium onion, quartered and thinkly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
2 quinces , unpeeled cored and cut into eighths
1-2 cups water
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Combine cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger and cayenne in small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Drain tomatoes and set aside. If using whole tomatoes, slice in half. Transfer juice to small saucepan.
  4. Stir garlic, 2 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp of the cumin mixture and 2 cups water into tomato juice; bring to a boil Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes.
  5. Toss together cauliflower, zucchini, onion, oil, tomatoes, chickpeas and remaining 1 tbsp cumin mixture into roasting pan. Move vegetables to center of pan. (They need not be in a single layer.)
  6. Combine 2 tsp sugar and cinnamon on plate. Coat cut sides of quince pieces with cinnamon sugar. arrange quince skin-side down around sides of roasting pan. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon sugar and remaining 1 tsp sugar over vegetables, and cover with foil. Reduce oven heat to 350 F and bake 1 hour, or until quince and vegetables are tender.
  7. Let stand 10 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

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