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Tunisian vegetable stew with lemon pickle

A recipe from the Good Food collection.


Tunisian Vegetable Stew with Lemon Pickle
Tunisian Vegetable Stew with Lemon Pickle
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large brown onion, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1–2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable stock
2 potatoes (about 400 g/14 oz), peeled and cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) chunks
100 g (3½ oz/1⅓ cups) thinly sliced cabbage
150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) fresh pitted dates, chopped
150 g (5½ oz/1¼ cups) small cauliflower florets
200 g (7 oz) green beans, trimmed and halved diagonally
steamed couscous, to serve
1 large handful coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped, to serve (optional)
35 g (1 oz/¼ cup) chopped pistachio nuts, to serve (optional) 


3 lemons (about 450g/1 lb)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon hot chilli powder
200 ml (7 fl oz) cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons sea salt
55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) sugar


1. To make the lemon pickle, cut the lemons in half widthways, juice the lemons, then strain the juice and set aside. Cut the lemon halves in half again, then remove all the flesh and white pith using a small, sharp knife, leaving just the yellow skin. Slice the skin into very thin strips and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium–low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the ginger, garlic and spices and cook for a further 30 seconds. Pour in the vinegar, lemon juice and 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water, then stir in the salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until the lemon skins are very tender. Increase the heat to medium–high and stir in the sugar. Cook for a further 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the stew. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium–low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic, spices and tomato paste and stir for 1 minute.

4. Pour in the stock and add the potato. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potato is just tender. Add the cabbage, dates, cauliflower and beans. Cover and cook for a further 10–15 minutes.

5. Divide the stew among serving bowls. Serve with the pickle and couscous on the side, and the coriander and pistachios to sprinkle over, if desired.

To make more of a preserved lemon style relish, allow the lemon pickle to sit for at least 7 days before using

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