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Lamb, spinach & kumquat tagine recipe image

Print Lamb, spinach & kumquat tagine

Kumquats have a sweet-sharp citrussy taste and can be eaten raw (whole) or cooked. In this tagine-style dish they ape the flavour of preserved lemons, cutting through the richness of the lamb. Kumquat seeds can add a little bitterness, so once you’ve sliced them it’s best to remove as many of them as you have time or inclination to.


  • 350g diced lamb leg
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 large or 2 small onions (red or white), peeled & finely sliced
  • 100g kumquats, halved lengthways, seeds removed, then finely sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled & finely chopped
  • 3-4cm piece ginger, peeled & finely chopped or grated
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of chilli flakes, or ½ tbsp harissa (optional, for a little heat)
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml chicken or good veg stock
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 50g dried apricots, dates or figs, chopped
  • 200g baby or true spinach, leaves stripped from any tough stalks
  • Small handful fresh mint, leaves shredded
  • Small handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Season the lamb. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wide flameproof casserole. Fry the lamb to brown it, then transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the onion and almost all the kumquats to the same pan (saving just a few shreds for a garnish), with a splash more oil. Gently fry for 10 mins, until softened.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and chilli or harissa if using. Stir for 1 min.
  4. Add the lamb, chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, stock, honey and dried fruit. Season.
  5. Bring the pan up to a low simmering boil, partly cover with a lid and cook for 1 hour. Keep an eye on the liquid level and top up with a splash of extra water if needed, depending on your pan size.
  6. Check the lamb is tender; it’s a lean meat so you don’t want to overcook it, but it may need a tad longer - 10-20 mins should be plenty. Stir in the spinach until wilted.
  7. Stir in most of the fresh herbs. Check the seasoning and serve sprinkled with the remaining herbs and kumquat shreds.
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