Classic Casablancan Couscous with Roasted Vegetables is based on the tradition that a stew served with couscous should include 7 vegetables. The number “7” is said to bring good luck, any any suitable combination of vegetables can be used, as long as the total adds up to the magic number. To add a bit of heat to this, serve it with a spoonful of harissa. To cool the palate, offer a bowl of cream natural yogurt.
Recipe adapted from “The African and Middle Eastern Cookbook”
Serves 6; Preparation Time: ±30-40 mins; Cooking Time: ±1.5hrs
- 3 red onions, peeled & quartered
- 2-3 courgettes, halved lengthwise, cut across into 2-3 pcs
- 2-3 red, green or yellow (bell)peppers or capsicums, seeded & quartered
- 2 aubergines, cut into 6-8 long segments
- 2-3 leeks, trimmed, cut into long strips (I used parsnips, cut into long strips)
- 2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut into long strips
- 4-6 tomatoes, quartered
- 6 crushed garlic cloves
- 25g peeled, sliced fresh ginger root
- a few large fresh rosemary sprigs
- ±150ml olive oil
- 2 tsp clear honey
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- natural plain yogurt or harissa and bread to serve
Ingredients – For The Couscous:
- 500g couscous
- 1 tsp salt
- 600ml warm water
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- ±2 tbsp butter, diced
- Preheat oven to 200C.
- (Line a baking or roasting tray with parchment or baking paper.)
- Arrange all vegetables in a baking or roasting tray.
- Tuck garlic, ginger and rosemary around vegetables.
- Pour lots of olive oil over vegetables.
- Drizzle with honey, add salt and pepper.
- Then roast for ±1.5hrs till they are extremely tender and slightly caramerlised. Cooking time will depend on size of vegetable pcs. Turn them in oil occasionally.
- When vegetables are nearly ready, put couscous in a large ovenproof dish.
- Stir salt into water, then pour it over couscous, stirring to make sure it’s absorbed evenly. Leave to stand for 10 mins to plump up.
- Then using your fingers (or a fork), rub (or stir) sunflower oil into grains to air them and break up any lumps.
- Arrange butter over top, cover with foil and heat in oven for abt 20 mins.
- To serve, use fingers (or a fork) to work melted into grains of couscous and fluff it up.
- Then pile it on a large dish and shape into a mound with a little pit on top.
- Spoon some vegetables into the pit and arrange the rest around dish.
- Pour oil from pan over couscous or serve separately.
- Serve immediately with yogurt, or harissa if preferred, and bread for mopping up the juices.
I served the couscous separate from the roasted vegetables, so that if there are any leftovers, they can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for another day.
The roasted vegetables were deliciously; I didn’t realise what a big difference a little tsp of honey would do to some simple roasted vegetables – this, I’d definitely take it forward to next time I make roasted vegetables.
This was served with Meat Kofta Curry. They were so good together, just so delicious!!
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