Bitter Lettuce Tagine with Artichokes

, from Issue #50. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Bitter Lettuce Tagine with Artichokes

Tagines are a great meal to serve guests, and removing the lid always makes for a bit of theatre. The beauty is that all the preparation can be done in advance.

Serves: 4


2 lemons, halved
4 whole globe artichokes
1 teaspoon chopped preserved lemon rind
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
½ teaspoon honey
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 small red onions, quartered
2 witlof, halved (endive)


Preheat the oven to 220˚C.

Arrange the oven racks to fit your tagine or casserole dish if using.

Artichokes: Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze in the juice of the two lemons, keeping the shells of the lemons.

Cut the tips off the flower bud of the artichoke and rub the cut with the lemon shells. Use a small sharp knife to remove the outer petals of the artichoke until the softer pale petals are reached, continuously rubbing the cuts with lemon to prevent them discolouring.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the stem and base of the artichoke back to the white flesh. Drop the prepared artichokes into the lemon water before continuing with the remaining artichokes.
Cook the artichokes in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Remove and when cool enough to handle remove the choke with a small spoon and discard.

To assemble: Combine the preserved lemon, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, stock, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Toss the prepared artichokes, onions and the witlof in this mixture and spoon into the base of tagine. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, then baste and cook for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables
are tender.

To serve: Remove the tagine from the oven and gently toss the ingredients in the juices. Serve with cooked hulled millet and a green salad.