A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Roast Vegetables With Couscous


I'm tending to eat less meat and more fish or vegetable-based dishes these days. I'm also a big fan of Mediterranean food. This dish, which I made yesterday, combines both these preferences. Quite honestly, it's one of the most flavoursome vegetarian meals you could ever hope to eat. Absolutely delicious! Here's the recipe.

Roast a tray of Mediterranean-type vegetables in the oven for 20-30 minutes at a very high temperature (230-240 degrees C). Beforehand coat the vegetables with plenty of extra virgin olive oil, and mix in a generous amount of crushed garlic, freshly-torn basil leaves and seasoning.

A good combination of vegetables might be: aubergine, courgette, red and yellow pepper, cherry tomato, onion. I used the vegetables I already had, so there was no aubergine or yellow pepper, but I used green pepper instead. For onions I used both red onions and shallots. (Incidentally, it's a good idea to squeeze out some of the bitter liquid from the aubergines and courgettes first. To do this, dice them, salt them, then place in a colander for half an hour with a weighted plate on top.)

While the vegetables are roasting (ah, the aroma!) pour 500 ml of boiling vegetable stock over 275 gm of couscous, season, stir and leave to one side. The liquid will soon be absorbed and the couscous will soften. Then prepare a salad dressing by whisking together 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, 2 tablespoons of tomato purée, and the juice of 2 limes (I used lemon).

Ok, now build the salad! (I love to make this in one of those wooden salad bowls and serve with a wooden fork and spoon.) Put the couscous at the bottom, fluffed up with a fork. Then spoon in a layer of roasted vegetables, to which you've added some pitted and chopped black olives and a tablespoon of capers. On top of the veg sprinkle cubes of firm goat's cheese. Finally top with mixed salad leaves and drizzle part of the dressing over them (serve the rest of the dressing in a jug on the side). Eat warm or cold. You really don't miss at all a fish or meat component to this dish. It's a meal in itself, and perfectly satisfying on its own.   

11 comments:

Arija said...

Sounds delicious. I don't eat any red meat and seldom meat at all and often make similar dishes.

Ruth said...

Holy cow. Yes yes yes! It looks wonderful, but when I read your recipe, um, well, I wished it were supper time. You are so right that with the right seasonings and ingredients, I don't miss meat. I might add mushrooms to this one. (I had to look up courgette; ah: zucchini.)

I will try this with the kids Sunday!

George said...

Looks great and sounds great. I haven't eaten red meat for more than thirty years, and I haven't missed it a bit.

ksam said...

Okay....so I had Brats from a specialty butcher for dinner. But now I know what I'm having for lunch or perhaps dinner today!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sounds jolly good to me Robert. I try to use a goodly quantity of veg throughout the week, so that we don't have the same one twice. In spite of the new season's veg not being in yet there is plenty of choice isn't there?

I have posted a crit of your book Raining Quinces today on my blog. I hope you don't mind - I have quoted one of the limericks - I you would rather I didn'#t then I will remove it with pleasure. I love the book and found it hard to choose which poems to mention because I love them all.

am said...

Beautiful colorful delicious food! I eat a lot of salmon and occasional lamb sausage made locally. Lately I've been eating three varieties of sweet potato, making a hearty salmon and vegetable soup with lots of fresh ginger, and enjoying using coconut flour and coconut oil. Good food and good walking go well together!

Kelly Garriott Waite said...

I'm going to make this for dinner - Except with quinoa. Thanks!

Susan Alcorn said...

Ralph does similar things--I never knew vegetables could be so good. They don't need to be relegated to "side dish" status--they are wonderful standing alone.

Vagabonde said...

That does sound like something tasty. I use couscous often and we also eat many vegetables – sometimes we will have 4 or 5 different vegetable dishes. I like to improvise and mix veggies to see how they go together or with other things like with rice or beans. I’m copying your recipe, merci.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks for all these comments! I have to restrain myself sometimes from making this a completely foodie blog...

Goat said...

Two things I miss in Korea: couscous and an oven.

I suppose you saw this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/apr/20/wg-sebald-reveries-solitary-walker

Enjoy your reveries.