This salad started life as a tagine of vegetables when Sam and I would eat only vegetables for a week, but then I started serving it for friends with chicken tagine or bratsed meat and Moroccan salads. Being lazy, I’d make it in advance and let it come to room temperature while other things went on the stove. I realized that it tasted better when cool and it made things even easter. Now isn’t that what entertaining is all about?



2 medium beetroots, peeled and quartered
2 small yams, peeled and cut into 4 rounds
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 4 rounds 150 g (51/2 oz) baby beans
250 ml (8 fl oz/1 cup) chermoula (page 372)
150 ml (5 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
115 g (4 oz/1/3 cup) honey
juice of 2 lemons
sea salt
300 g (10 oz/2 cups) shelled peas.
about 700 g (1 lb 9 oz) unshelled
8 fresh dates, pitted
80 g (23/4 oz/1/2 cup) blanched almonds


Put the beetroot, yam, carrot and beans in a bowl and loosely coat with the chermoula. Transfer to a tagine or large saucepan that has a lid, set over high heat and add the extra virgin olive oil. Fry, covered, for 2 minutes. Add enough water to the vegetables to come halfway up their side, then add the honey, lemon juice and some sea salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 30 minutes, then add the dates and almonds and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove the tagine from the heat and bring to room temperature. Serve it in the tagine or, if using a saucepan, transfer the vegetables to a bowl and serve.

It’s easy to pan-fry some chicken thighs until coloured and cook them slowly with the vegetables to create a delicious meal; just serve with couscous or rice. By the same token, you can add braised lamb or beef, or even add some pieces of fish to the vegetables about 15 minutes before the dish is finished. Pumpkin, parsnip, artichokes, fennel or potato can all be used, as can Treviso or radicchio (both types of red chicory), cut in half and cooked for the full amount of time. It all goes soft, melting and slightly bitter. Yum!