Years ago while working at a food and travel magazine in New York, I got a plum assignment: Morocco. To someone whose life consisted of trying to make the rent, I felt like I’d just picked the winning ticket.
As I researched the trip, I knew I would be charmed by the maze-like ancient city of Fes, the bright seaside town of Essaouira, and the bustling squares of Marrakesh. What I hadn’t counted on was how hard I would fall for the cuisine, the tagines and flaky bastilla, the rose water pastries and fragrant spices.
Back home I sought out recipes to recapture those flavors, and discovered this easy Vegetable Ragout from Bon Appetit. It starts with a classic mirepoix of sauteed onions, carrots and celery, then takes a sharp right turn from French cooking with the addition of cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and cumin. The stew also has chickpeas and potatoes for heft, plus tomatoes and zucchini for freshness. Serve it over rice to complete the protein. If you’re in a winter farm-share, an added benefit is that it uses up so many of those storage crops you’re getting each week.
Note that when I make it, I use 14-16 ounces of diced tomatoes (juice included and preferably not from a can — if you’re curious why, click here). I also bump up the cumin from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon; substitute 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon for the cinnamon stick; skip the saffron; and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. You can also add extra broth if you want more sauce.