Moroccan Vegetable Couscous

October 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm 1 comment

The end of the season is here. Sad to say, but after a beautiful 75º day Wednesday, I’ve conceded that fall is here and by the time Saturday night arrives, we’ll have a hard frost. Sigh.

That said, we’ve had an amazing growing season and I feel abundantly blessed to be harvesting tomatoes the first week of October. Lots of tomatoes. Which brings me to last night’s dinner: Moroccan Vegetable Couscous. I found this recipe through our local co-op publication called Mix, which is always a good source of tasty seasonal dishes.

As I mentioned, I’ve got a lot of tomatoes. And given how many are on my counter starting to soften and get beyond the point where they are very usable in raw form, I’m on the lookout for new recipes that require cooked or canned tomatoes. Though I appreciate canned tomatoes in January (usually ones I’ve put up myself), I find no reason to use them now, when I can simply boil some water, quick blanch, slip the skins and voilà, better than canned. So, I took those on the counter most needing to be used and did just that.

Moroccan Vegetable Couscous by Beth Dooley

  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup canned or boxed chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2–4 teaspoons jarred curry paste, or more to taste
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen vegetables, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice or more to taste
  • 2 cups couscous
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 cup Greek-style whole-milk yogurt or feta cheese

Combine the tomatoes, beans, stock, curry and vegetables in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are warmed through.

Moroccan Vegetable Couscous

Into a large bowl, mix the couscous with a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir in the olive oil with a fork to coat evenly. Stir in the boiling water, cover and let stand for about 3 minutes; remove the cover and break up any clumps.

Serve the vegetables over the couscous and top with the yogurt or crumbled cheese.

MY NOTES: First, as mentioned, no canned tomatoes. Since the tomatoes I used included some heirlooms, they had a decent amount of moisture, which worked well in this recipe for creating a perfect sauce.

I also didn’t have or want to buy frozen veggies, given all the things I need to use in my fridge, so here’s what I came up with (all grown in my garden):

  • Eggplant – 4 very small ones, sliced and steamed
  • Beet stems and greens – stems steamed, greens added at the very end
  • Pepper – half a yellow bell, raw; whole Melrose Italian pepper, slightly steamed
  • Onion – half a small one, raw

Continuing the list of substitutions, I didn’t have any chicken stock and my frozen veggie stock was in quart sized volumes, so I opted for some of the turkey stock I made and froze last winter, since it obviously needs to be used up too. I had frozen it in muffin tins, which generally are about a half cup, and then stored them in plastic containers – works pretty well and is much healthier than most store-bought stocks which are often chock-full of sodium.

For the garbanzo beans (aka chick peas), I soaked dry beans all day (about 12 hours, though you only need to do 6-8). I then put them right in the pot with the tomatoes, realizing later I should have boiled them for a bit to soften them. I actually decided to separate them all out and cook them, a rather tedious but worthwhile process, because I didn’t like the texture. Post cooking was definitely better.

The directions on this never really say when to add the lime juice, so I put it in the tomato-garbanzo bean mix, near the end of cooking.

Last, I cut the amount of couscous in half, as I knew we wouldn’t need the suggested amount, which really does seem like a massive amount of couscous.

Overall this dish has great flavor. I like it a lot better than another Moroccan Veggie Couscous recipe I’d gotten off a couscous box a few years ago. I love curry and being new to the world of curry paste, it was great to learn another way to use it, since this isn’t something I would normally have thought of. I also liked finding a way to use whole garbanzo beans, since I feel seriously “legume illiterate” and these beans are super healthy for you, high in protein and fiber. So, if you’re like me and enjoying the last bits of the harvest, try this recipe out with fresh ingredients, or save it until winter for a good warm-me-up meal on a cold day.

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Taste the rainbow Ready, set, roll! Lefse time!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Dora Mae Burdick  |  October 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you , Emily this receipe look so good.  Unfortunatly, I have a husband that will not even try anything with beans!    But I am wondering if you have ever tried to make a Kranse Kake.  I received the rings for my birthday and only have the recipe on the box. I put out an email to my cousins but have not received anything yet.  I would much rather use a tried recipe with a little history.   Thanks !   Dora Mae  

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    Reply

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