Roasting Veggies with Moroccan Flair
When the days get shorter and the temperatures start to drop, I become a big fan of roasting things. I love the warm that radiates from the oven and inviting smells that waft through the kitchen as the veggies roast into golden perfection. Roasting veggies with just some salt and oil is always amazing but I was craving some Moroccan flavors so I decided to deviate from the simple roasting recipe to try something new.
Spice Things Up
One of my favorite things about North African food is the way they combine aromatic spices with sweet, savory and sour flavors. It has all the things going on in it but in a combination that is unique to the cuisine in that part of the world. I didn’t do a full on Ras Al Hanout spice blend because I wanted to keep things relatively simple so I just chose to use three spices (cumin, caraway & coriander) that would give my veggies that feel. I also added thin lemon slices because combined with the spices, salt and heat, they would pinch hit for preserved lemon.
Relish the Relish
There used to be a pork dish that I loved to make for dinner guests (back when I was cooking meat more regularly) and my favorite part was this amazing date, herb and citrus relish that went with it. I thought something like that would be really good on these veggies too so I came up with this combo that I was very pleased with. It has all the things; sweet, umami, acid and the fresh green of the herbs.
A Complete Meal
This was going to be meal prep for the week so I decided to round it out with garbanzo beans and quinoa. You could also do this with rice, couscous or some other grain but I had a fun quinoa medley in my pantry that was calling my name.
The lemons came out caramelized and added the perfect tart zing. Definitely going to do that again! Combined with the relish and piled high on a bed of fluffy quinoa, my complete meal satisfied my cravings and put a big smile on my face. I hope it does the same for you.
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
- 1 to 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 small head of romanesco cauliflower
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- 6 medium sized carrots
- 1 cup of dried chickpeas cooked or 2 cups of canned chickpeas, drained
- 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small bunch of mint, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of sliced or slivered almonds
- 10 large pitted green olives, chopped
- 6-8 oil cured sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- Juice of one small orange or tangerine
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
- Chop the veggies into similar sized pieces and toss together in a large bowl with the lemon slices and enough oil to coat the veggies.
- Combine the caraway, cumin and coriander seeds into a spice mill or clean coffee grinder and grind into a powder. Put in the bowl with the veggies, minced garlic, crushed red pepper and a large pinch of salt. Toss to coat the veggies evenly in the spices, salt and garlic.
- Spread the seasoned veggies out on a rimmed baking sheet so they are in one layer. Put them in the oven to roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until the veggies are starting to brown around the edges.
- While the veggies are roasting, combine in a small bowl the minced herbs, chopped onion, sliced almonds, olives, sundried tomatoes, and raisins. Pour organge juice over the mixture and mix well. Drizzle oil over the mixture until it comes to the consistency of a relish or salsa. Taste the mixture and add salt if it needs it.
- Serve the roasted veggies on top of the quinoa, topped with a big dollop of the relish.