Sardine Tagine

Hello from Rabat! I would love to say sunny Rabat, but the weather has been so inconsistent these pas days, I don’t think it would be fair to make such a statement. That said, it’s been sunny and breezy today so hopefully the heavy, sticky, sand stormy and cloudy days are behind us. Fingers crossed!

I love Rabat! Morocco has many many beautiful sites and places but I really think that Rabat is under estimated. Actually, did you know that Rabat is the capital of Morocco? I am just saying that because people usually think that the capital is either Marrakech or Casablanca. Rabat is also very green, has some of the most important historical sites of Morocco and is amazingly pretty and peaceful.

I have been here since Saturday and have been dedicating myself to my favourites activities: eating, swimming, being lazy and meeting with the family!  I haven’t been cooking that much. When I am home (Morocco edition), my mother cooks, I can help but she is the chef, that’s the rule and I love it. This afternoon will consist of swimming and making basboosa with my mom! I can’t wait!

Enjoy this beautifully lemony and fragrant tagine. Celebrate the beginning of the sardine season the Moroccan way!

Sardine tagine with Chermoula

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

  • 1 kg fresh sardines, deboned and cleaned (heads removed)
  • 1 cup chermoula
  • 3 tablespoons preserved lemon flesh
  • 3 large potatoes, thinly sliced 
  • 3 bell peppers (any colour), seeded and sliced into rings
  • 3 large tomatoes sliced
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced  
  • Lemon slices (or chopped preserved lemon) for garnish 
  • Chopped coriander for garnish

METHOD

• Finely chop the preserved lemon flesh and mix with the chermoula.

• Using your hands, cover the sardines and the inside of the sardines with half of the chermoula. Set the rest of the chermoula aside. Place the fish in the fridge until ready to cook the tagine, the longer the sardines will marinate, the better. 

• When you are ready to cook the tagine, preheat the oven to 200 C (390 F).

• Criss-cross the potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini and tomatoes slices across a large ovenproof dish. Mix the rest of the chermoula with 2 tablespoons of water and spread across the vegetables making sure all the vegetables are covered with chermoula. 

• Arrange the refrigerated sardines on top of the vegetables and top with lemon slices. 

• Cover the dish with foil and place in the warm oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the sardines are cooked.

• Serve hot with crusty bread or warm couscous. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Notes

• To save time, ask your fishmonger to clean your fish.

 • Make sure the potatoes slices are not too thick, if they are too thick they will take longer to cook and the fish will dry out by the time they are cooked. I recommend using a mandolin to obtain thin slices.