We all have a go-to weeknight recipe, rather it’s something simple such as pasta or a quick stir fry, we always go back to it because it’s easy and satisfying. My typical go-to midweek meal is this quick fish tagine served with vegetables and couscous.
A traditional Moroccan fish tagine is usually prepared with a large whole fish - a sea bream - cooked under sliced potatoes and vegetables. This means that the cooking time is quite long which makes this traditional dish pretty challenging to cook on a weekday after work and between FaceTime sessions and laundry chores.
To overcome my frustration I came up with this quick version that requires fish fillets and “quickly cooked veggies” (or “veggies that don’t require to be fully cooked”). The recipe is extremely simple since it basically consists of making chermoula and slicing vegetables. I added a couple of tablespoons of Mina’s harissa to my chermoula instead of cayenne pepper for a more intense taste. Mina’s harissa is one if my favourite! I can add it to everything without having a conflict of flavour and it tastes so much like mum’s harissa.
Besides the fact that this recipe is amazingly tasty, easy and healthy, let me give you another reason to scroll down! It was filmed! Can you believe this? I still can’t. Many of you have been asking me to do videos for a while so a few weeks ago I finally found the courage to go in front of the camera. It was quite fun to film it but watching myself is very painful. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!
p.s: If you don’t have preserved lemons don’t be discouraged! Use thin slices of lemon instead.
p.p.s: Making preserved lemons at home is super easy! All you need are lemons, salt and water.
Quick Fish Tagine with Chermoula
- ½ cup chermoula
- 2 finely sliced courgettes
- 2 finely sliced or stripped bell peppers (any colour)
- 2 fish fillets such as sea bream or sea bass
- 80 gr couscous
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt to season
- 4 small preserved lemons (or 1 large preserved lemon) roughly chopped
- Coriander for garnish
• Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Make the chermoula and cover the fish fillets with half of chermoula and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
• Place the sliced vegetables in a medium sized baking dish and fully cover the vegetables with remaining chermoula. Transfer in the oven and cook for about 12 minutes until the vegetables are half cooked and start to soften.
• Top the vegetables with the fish fillets and place the baking dish back in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish.
• Meanwhile, make some couscous to go with your fish. You can either follow the manufacturer instructions for your instant couscous or follow my technique! I usually season my couscous with olive oil and salt then cover it with boiling water until there is about 1 cm of water above the couscous and finally I cover with a lid (or cling film) for 7 minutes .Making sure you don’t add to much water to your instant couscous will help obtaining a nice result. Also, fluffing up your cooked couscous with a spoon will help separate the grains of couscous.
• Serve the warm fish fillets and vegetables over fluffy couscous and top with chopped preserved lemons and coriander.
• If you don’t have preserved lemon don’t be discouraged, use thin slices of lemon instead.
• Chermoula can be prepared up to 5 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.