Monday, February 1, 2010

Moroccan Couscous

I made this carbohydrate/vegetable side dish to accompany my previous entry, Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic, and, like the chicken recipe, it's also from Ina Garten's Barefoot in Paris cookbook. Although there are quite a bit of prepping to do (all those cube-ing of the vegetables), it is actually very easy to make and, of course like her other recipes, it's really delicious too.

1 medium-sized butternut squash, 3/4-inch diced
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 carrots, 3/4-inch diced
2 medium-sized zucchini, 3/4-inch diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
1.5 cups low sodium chicken stock (vegetable stock)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1.5 cups couscous (~10 ounces)
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Place the butternut squash, onions, carrots, and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, turned with spatula and then roast for another 15 minutes until all vegetables are cooked. If you want the vegetables to crisp up more, you can crank up the oven to a 400F and cut back the cooking time by 5 minutes or so.
  • While the vegetables are baking, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan and turn off the heat. Add in the butter, 1 teaspoon salt (optional), 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, cumin and saffron threads. Cover with a lid and allow to steep for at least 15 minutes.
  • After the vegetables are cooked, bring the chicken stock back to a boil.
  • Place the couscous and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and pour the hot chicken stock over them. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Add the scallions and parsley, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

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