Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jewelled Couscous

Looking for something to serve along meat or fish, that is not pasta, rice or potatoes and that literally only takes minutes to make? Look no further. All you need is couscous. It can be combined with many different dishes as it's very versatile and it tastes wonderful, too! To make the plain version, tip 60g of couscous per person in a heat-proof bowl, add a little salt and pour over boiling water (the water should stand 1cm higher than the couscous), cover and let the couscous steam for five minutes. Stir with a fork and add a little olive oil or butter. Done.

The jewelled couscous I made the other day was served with grilled tuna steaks but it would be lovely with barbecued meat or a stew or even on its own. It does take a little longer to make, of course, I won't lie about that but it's still reasonably kerfuffle-free, giving you time to look after something else. (I very much dislike it when it says in a cookbook that something takes only ten minutes to make but after ten minutes you have only just peeled the vegetables. I'll never do that - promise.)

Jewelled Couscous (serves 2-3)

- 120g couscous
- 1 small red onion, cut into fine slices
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 1 small celeriac, diced
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
- some red chili, finely chopped (quantity according to taste)
- a small handfull of raisins, soaked in hot water
- 1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- a couple of mint leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon ras-el-hanout (a moroccan spice blend)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 pinch saffron powder
- salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and fry over a low heat (it must not colour) for a couple of minutes. Add the ras-el-hanout and cumin and fry for another minute. Add the zucchini, celeriac, raisins and chili, cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are almost done, stirring occasionnally. Place the couscous, a little salt and the saffron in a heat-proof bowl and proceed as described above. Add the tomatoes, herbs and lemon juice to the vegetables and stir, then season with salt and pepper. Fluff the couscous with a fork and mix with the vegetables. Serve with some plain yoghurt, seasoned with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.


wheresmymind said...

Isn't couscous sorta a pasta? I love it so much...'specially the whole wheat kind

Honeybee said...

You're right, it is - just not in a very obvious way. ;-)