Flash in the Pan–Fish and Cauliflower Tagine


Flash in the pan: bringing you simple, quick, but not dumbed-down recipes.

Fish and Cauliflower Tagine

Yield: 4 servings
For this tagine, you can use any firm, mild white fish that you like. Try to buy a sustainable fish, such as wild Pacific halibut, wild Pacific cod, US-farmed tilapia, or U.S. Atlantic mahi-mahi. Now that I think about it, you could also use arctic char or wild Pacific salmon. For that matter, make it vegan by subbing chickpeas and chopped carrots for the fish, or use chicken thighs instead of fish.

Jarred harissa can be found at any Middle Eastern grocery, at Fairway, or online. Find preserved lemons at any Middle Eastern grocery, or at Whole Foods, or make them at home. If you don’t have preserved lemons, substitute in 2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. It will be just as good.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons turmeric
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder (or to taste)
2 tablespoons prepared harissa
1/2 preserved lemon rind, rinsed and chopped (optional)
salt and pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 pound firm white fish, such as wild Pacific cod, cut into large chunks
1/2 cup pitted green olives (optional)
chopped parsley
couscous, for serving (optional)

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the cauliflower, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower florets are beginning to brown. Decrease the heat to medium, and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, chile powder and harissa, and stir well. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour in the tomatoes, and stir well. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper, and lay the fish into the pan. Cover each piece with sauce. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes, until fish is cooked through. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, or chile powder, if desired. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve with couscous.