Couscous with Seven Vegetables

(adapted from Wolfert’’s Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco)

 

˝ stick of butter (or 4 T. olive oil)

4-5 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 T salt

about a cupful each of five other vegetables, peeled as needed and chopped into bite-sized pieces: zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, cabbage, eggplant, butternut squash

1 T. freshly ground black pepper

pinch of saffron (optional and expensive, but good)

˝ tsp ground turmeric

˝ tsp. Ground cardamom

1 hot chili pepper, minced (optional)

2 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

2 onions, quartered

1 handful raisins

1 handful chopped flat-leafed parsley

about 1 quart of vegetable stock or water

1 handful chopped cilantro

1 box instant couscous

 

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the spices, onions, herbs, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring until the onions soften. Add the five other vegetables, optional chili, garbanzos, raisins and stock or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the toughest vegetables (likely the carrots) are tender.

 

Prepare the instant couscous according to the directions on the box. However, instead of using plain water for the couscous, ladle the appropriate amount of broth out to the vegetable stew.

 

Spread the cooked couscous on a large platter or serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon to drain most of the liquid, mound the vegetable stew atop the couscous. Serve the remaining broth on the side as soup if you like, garnished with chopped herbs and lemon wedges. Carnivores can add diced lamb, beef, or chicken, browning the meat in the butter with the spices before adding the vegetables.