Turnip, olive and preserved lemon tagine


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      55 min

Appears in

The Part-Time Vegetarian: Flexible Recipes to Go (Nearly) Meat-Free

The Part-Time Vegetarian

By Nicola Graimes

Published 2015

  • About

Turnip is a much underrated and underused vegetable, yet its slightly ‘radishy’ flavour and crisp texture lends itself to both raw and cooked dishes. Try grating it into slaws or pickles, combining with celeriac or potato to make an alternative mash, or slow cooking until melt-in-the-mouth tender. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, this tagine is very much a bung-it-all-in-and-let-it-cook type of dish.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 turnips, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • 2 large carrots, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 200 g/7 oz new potatoes, cut into bite-size cubes
  • 500 ml/17 fl oz/generous 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 85 g/3 oz/heaped ¾ cup green olives
  • 400 g/14 oz can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp dried chilli/hot pepper flakes
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • ½ recipe quantity of Cheat’s Preserved Lemons and 2 tbsp lemon juice, or the shop-bought equivalent, flesh discarded and skin finely chopped and 2 tbsp juice from the jar
  • 1 handful of chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • couscous, to serve


  • Heat the oil in a large heavy-based casserole over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until softened, then stir in the garlic, turnips, carrots and new potatoes.
  • Pour in the stock and add the olives, chickpeas and spices. Bring to the boil, stir well, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes, covered, until the vegetables are tender when prodded with a fork. Stir the tagine occasionally to prevent it sticking and only part-cover the pan if you find you need to cook off some of the liquid.
  • Add the preserved lemons and juice, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Serve sprinkled with the coriander/cilantro and with couscous.