Moroccan Mint Roasted Vegetables

Moroccan Mint Roasted Vegetables Recipe

I was on the first flight of the day from Paris to Marrakesh. A full airplane heading south-west, three hours from tarmac to tarmac. Now, I'm not sure if it's just this time of year, but when you look out the window on final approach to Aéroport Marrakech Ménara, you're smacked with pink. The boxy buildings, the desert, the soft winter sunlight filtering through the dusty landscape - it all takes it's cue from a salmon shades of earthy pink. And you're greeted with thousand subtle variations of it. This was my first impression of Marrakesh, and it stayed with me throughout the week I was there. I'm home now, unpacking, but I wanted to share a few snapshots, and a Moroccan-spiced mint roasted vegetable dish I threw together as soon as I got home - potatoes, cauliflower, radishes accented with cumin, mint, cinnamon, and ginger.

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I'm sure some of you are curious about why I was in Morocco. It was actually a trip I've been looking forward to for months and months. I was a participant in this instant photography / Polaroid workshop. There was a pit stop ahead of that, in Paris, to pin down some details related to a project I hope to work on down the line a bit, but I was most excited about packing up my Polaroid Land camera, and my SX-70, to venture to Morocco. My friends Jen Altman, Amanda Gilligan, and Susannah Conway have a book, Instant Love coming out in a couple months, and the retreat dovetailed with the contents of the book.

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So, these shots here are just off my little digital camera, I'll scan some of the instant film shots to share soon. And I'll be able to tell you more about what I saw - we took in as much as we could. We drove around a lot, wandered the souks in Marrakesh and Essaouira, made this our home base, and shot a lot of photographs.

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I suspect some of the quiet moments will be the ones that will stay with me. The sunrise picture down below was the view from our terrace on the second morning. I tended to wake up each day just after the call to prayer and before sunrise (still on California time). The Atlas Mountains jet skyward in the distance. You hear roosters, and donkeys, and tiny birds chirping. Certainly a nice way to welcome the day.

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A couple notes about the roasted vegetables. I noticed many of the roasted or tagine vegetables I enjoyed in Marrakesh were visibly slathered with herbs and spices. There was a lot of cumin, mint, cinnamon - and never really the same blend twice. All very flavor forward. I'm not sure how authentic this particular attempt is, but it's tasty. And, as I note down below, you can try it with many different vegetable combinations. I simply used potatoes, cauliflower, and radishes because they looked good at my market, but winter squash would be a nice alternative. And, I imagine green beans, asparagus, fennel, would all work beautifully.

Moroccan Mint Roasted Vegetables

As I mention in the main post, I used a mix of what looked good and seasonal at my local market here, but feel free to mix it up a bit. You could certainly do pumpkin or other winter squash here, or straight potatoes (no cauliflower / radish), or green beans and broccoli in the summer. Asparagus and artichokes in the spring, etc.

1 lb / 16 oz / 450 g mix of potatoes, cauliflower, and a few radishes (save the tops)

1 1/2 teaspoons dried mint
1/2 teaspoon red chile pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

toppings: fresh mint, toasted sesame and/or pumpkin seeds, plain yogurt (seasoned with a bit of salt)

Preheat your oven to 425F / 220C. Wash and dry the vegetables, then cut the potatoes and cauliflower into 1/4-inch thick slices/pieces. Trim and quarter the radishes, setting aside the green radish tops.

Place the dried mint, chile pepper flakes, cumin seeds, and salt in a mortar and pestle and pound a bit, long enough to somewhat break up the cumin seeds. Add the ground cumin, cinnamon, and ground ginger. After that, add the olive oil and stir until combined.

Place the potatoes, cauliflower, and radishes in a large bowl. Pour the spiced olive oil over the vegetables and toss gently but thoroughly - until everything is equally coated. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until everything is cooked through.

Remove from the oven and serve on a platter topped with the radish greens, a squeeze of lemon and any/all of the other toppings. A fat dollop of salted yogurt really brings everything together.

Serves 4.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 15 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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  • I prefer roasted veg seasoned with different spices and this sounds so lovely....roasted cauliflower is one of my favourites. Your photos from your travels are just stunning!

    Anna @ the shady pine
  • @Nicole thanks for mushroom name info Best Sia

  • I am thinking that sumac and/or zatar would be a good addition.

    Brenda Claybrook
  • What a beautiful country! I love the copious seasoning on the vegetables. Roasted vegetable are good anyway you can get them, but extra spicy? Yes please.

  • You have motivated me to finally season the tangine I got for Christmas! I was just there in October and had such an amazing time. I am looking forwardto seeing the rest of your photos. We and an amazing cooking class from Abdulwhad at the beautiful Riad Al Massarah and I have been experimenting with those spices ever since. I can't wait for you to share more Morrocan inspired dishes!

  • This looks very yummy & wish I'd seen it last night when I did a variation on your Broccoli Orzo salad (with roasted veggies & cous cous). I'm not familiar with dried mint - do you think roasting with fresh mint chopped fine would work?

    Karen White
  • These veggies looks yummy and really very, very healthy for those who might be like me with a tummy harmed by many medications from a heart attack in the past. These spices are very helpful to that hurt tummy and Dr. Oz recommends chewing these spices which I do and it helps a lot. So we have an added benefit from your lovely trip, photos and recipes. God bless.

    Beverly Jane
  • This makes me long for an adventure in Morocco..

  • Oh thank you for the (much needed) 5 minute staycation! (and an idea for dinner tonight :) )

  • I love Marrakech and I cooked differently after being there! The spices were fantastic and we ate out in the open markets with the workers. My favorite dish was their potato egg stuff pita with cumin salt! Simply amazing and simple.

  • Did you stay at the Peacock Pavilions?!! I was just reading about a photography group who was there and I am SO jealous! It's on my list.

    HS: I did! It was as amazing as you'd imagine.

  • Heidi do you think I could fresh mint when roasting the vegetables instead of dried? Recipe looks great - thanks for sharing!

  • I adore this recipe! Love it! I want to eat this ll the time! I even added some potatoes into the mix and it worked so well.....The vegetables reminded me of my trip there! Flavour forward is a very good way of describing the herb blends and rubs that I encountered there. I only wish chefs here would be that uninhibited. PS - I didnt know one could see the "dessert" from the airplane..... HS: Wow - jetlag doesn't even seem like a good enough excuse for that typo. Thanks for helping me keep it real Gary :)

  • Lovely photos! I'm looking forward to trying your recipe for Moroccan-mint roasted vegetables, as I'm always roasting vegetables in the winter months and always looking for new variations.

    Laura {gourmettenyc}
  • Well, that takes care of the rest of the veggies in the fridge that needed to be eaten before the next CSA box arrives tonight! Beautiful pictures Heidi, as always!! Thanks for taking me on another fabulous sojourn with you!!!

  • I love it when my fridge is stocked with the ingredients in your latest post! Just need to pick up some fresh mint and I'm on my way to Morocco via some delicious roasted veggies! Thanks!

    the tasty tRuth
  • I'm going to Morocco in May for my honeymoon and this post just made me so excited! I can't wait to try this dish!

  • Heidi, the pics are beautiful, mint is Morocco for me. Here is a link to a short piece I wrote that was published on In The Know Traveler a while ago when I had money to travel.

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