Richard Hughes offers up a top tagine
ALL THE influential people in my house – the female half – are vegetarian. My customers are always amazed at this, but it’s obviously a sign that I married for love and not for my supper! With all of the household working, meals can be a somewhat disjointed affair. I tend to have my main meal, indeed often my only meal, at around 9pm when I get home from a day in my working kitchen. My wife never misses breakfast, impressively eaten at the dining room table while studying one of our collection of cookery books, though I think she enjoys the silence as much as her peanut butter on toast as she rises a good two hours before anyone else. We tend not to cook different things for different people so the ‘no meat Monday’ often extends to the rest of the week. September is still a great month for all sorts of vegetables and this Moroccan-influenced stew can be adapted to whatever you have in the cupboard, what’s on the market or what is left from the final flourish from your garden. Make plenty, as it actually tastes better the day after cooking. I promise you, this hearty dish will convert even the most ardent carnivore. It’s a proper autumnal dish that will warm you as the nights start to draw in, but evoke memories of sunnier climes with it’s aromas of spice, honey and orange. Who knows, it might even replace your stew and dumplings!