Nigella Lawson's Moroccan Vegetable Pot

This warmly-spiced vegetable stew, sweet with parsnips and carrots and tangy with preserved lemons and dried apricots, is a staple in Nigella Lawson's house. While she generally eats it as a main course, it is a great accompaniment to a roast chicken, which would make it go a lot further, too. 

From AT MY TABLE by Nigella Lawson. Copyright © 2018 by Nigella Lawson. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. 

Watch The Video

1 tbsp regular olive oil
1 medium leek, trimmed and cut into approx. 1/4-inch slices
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground ginger
cinnamon sticks, 1 long or 2 short
2 medium-large carrots, peeled and cut into chunky batons
2 medium-large parsnips, peeled and cut into large bite-sized chunks
1 medium-large eggplant, cut into large bite-sized chunks
1 large potato, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
4 cloves garlic, bruised and slightly splintered with the flat side of a wide-bladed knife, then slipped out of their skins
3 cups chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup small pitted green olives
2/3 cup soft dried apricots, halved
3 small, finely chopped preserved lemons (will come out to heaping 1/4 cup)
4 cups cold water
1 large pinch saffron threads
2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt

1. Warm the oil in a large-ish, heavy-based Dutch oven that has a tight-fitting lid and add the sliced leek, cumin seeds, ground ginger, and cinnamon stick(s) and cook, stirring, for a minute or so.


2. Add the chopped carrots, parsnips, eggplant, and potatoes along with the garlic, chickpeas, olives, apricots, and preserved lemons. Pour in the water, sprinkle in the saffron and salt, give the pot a good stir, and let it all come to a boil before putting on the lid, turning the heat down, and simmering for 35-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, adding a little more water should the liquid have evaporated too much.


3. Let your pot stand off the heat for 10-15 minutes before serving and sprinkle with chopped cilantro if you wish.