Moroccan Seven-Vegetable Couscous
To many Americans, couscous refers to the tiny pearls of semolina we've come to know and love. But in Morocco, it is also the proper name for a time-honored stew, rich with vegetables and the flavors—saffron, cinnamon, turmeric—of North Africa. This is a terrific, relaxed party dish—easy to make, fun to eat and meant for a gathering.
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 large onions, quartered and cut in ½-inch slices
- 2 pinches saffron threads
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp. ground turmeric
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 sprigs parsley and 3 sprigs cilantro, tied in a bundle with kitchen string
- 4 fresh or canned tomatoes, peeled, seeded and quartered
- 1 qt. vegetable stock
- 3 cups water
- 1 turnip, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
- ½ lb. carrots, peeled, halved length-wise and cut in 2-inch sticks
- ¾ lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut in 1 ½-inch chunks
- 1 medium-sized zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut in 2-inch sticks
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 14-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups quick-cooking couscous, uncooked
- ½ cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted
1. Heat butter and olive oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 15 minutes. Stir in saffron, crushed red pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. Sauté 5 minutes. Add herbs, tomatoes, stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes.
2. Add turnip, carrots and squash. Bring to a boil, and cook 10 minutes. Add zucchini, raisins, chickpeas and sugar. Cook 10 minutes more, or until vegetables are tender. Add salt and pepper.
3. Cook couscous according to package directions. Mound couscous on large serving platter, and make a well in center. Use slotted spoon to transfer vegetables to well. Ladle stock over entire dish. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Serve immediately.