- Lactose Free
- Energy Kcal 251
- Carbohydrates g 37.5
- of which sugars g 6.7
- Protein g 8.1
- Fats g 7.7
- of which saturated fat g 1.17
- Fiber g 7.4
- Sodium mg 496
- Difficulty: Easy
- Prep time: 25 min
- Cook time: 15 min
- Serving: 4 people
- Cost: Low
Couscous: the name alone is enough to whisk us away to the magical world of North African cuisine, made up of fragrant spices, intense aromas, and strong flavors. The culinary tradition of these little golden grains traveled from North Africa to reach the coasts of Sicily, going on to spread across the European continent. Today, we have a Mediterranean version of this flavorful dish: vegetable couscous. A pan full of fresh, colorful vegetables meets couscous, this amazing ingredient with a history stretching back thousands of years, in a union of flavors and aromas that combines traditions and cultures. You can decide whether to eat this couscous while it’s still warm and serve it in a tagine for a dinner full of amazing flavor, or else cold as a snack on the beach under your umbrella. No matter how you decide to savor this summertime dish, you can accompany it with aromatic condiments such as the traditional harissa: It will be love at first bite!
- Ingredients for the couscous
- Couscous 5 ½ oz (160 g) - pre-cooked
- Water 1 ½ cup (320 g) - hot
- Extra virgin olive oil ¾ tbsp (10 g)
- Powdered turmeric 1 tsp
- Fine salt 1 pinch
- For the vegetables
- Carrots 0.4 lb (180 g)
- Eggplant 0.4 lb (180 g)
- Cherry tomatoes 3 ½ oz (100 g)
- Fine salt to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil 1 ¾ tbsp (20 g)
- Fresh chili pepper 1
- Spring onions 3 ½ oz (100 g)
- Garlic 1 clove
- Zucchini 0.4 lb (180 g)
- Snap peas 3 ½ oz (100 g)
- Fresh ginger 0.35 oz (10 g)
- To decorate
- Mint - a few leaves
How to prepare Vegetable couscous
To make the vegetable couscous, start by cleaning and chopping the vegetables and spices needed for the recipe. Cut the chili into strips, removing the seeds inside 1. Wash and peel the vegetables, then chop the spring onion roughly 2 and cut the eggplant first into slices, then into sticks, and finally into cubes 3.
Move on to the carrots: First cut them into slices on a slight diagonal, then into matchsticks 4. Cut the zucchini in the same way 5. Cut the snap peas into pieces, also making a slightly diagonal cut in this case 6.
Finally, cut the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise 7. Then heat a glug of oil 8 in a large, wok-style pan. Lightly fry the chili and the peeled whole garlic clove until they have seasoned the oil with their flavors, then add the eggplant 9,
followed by the spring onion 10. Let the eggplant really get seared, without adding more oil to keep it from getting too saturated, then add the carrots 11 and, a few minutes later, the snap peas 12
and zucchini 13. Season with salt 14 and pepper 15 to taste.
As the vegetables sauté, turn the heat up to high (just a few minutes will be enough), then remove the garlic 16 and add in the cherry tomatoes 17. Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes, then turn off the heat: Your vegetables are ready. For the finishing touch, grate the ginger 18.
Stir in and mix well to combine, and then set the vegetable mixture aside 19. Now turn to the couscous: We used pre-cooked couscous as it’s faster and easy to prepare. Pour it into a large bowl and season with the salt 20, the turmeric 21 (which will give the couscous its typical color as well as an extra hint of flavor),
and the oil 22, stir to combine 23, and pour the hot water 24 over everything.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap 25 and wait 2 minutes: After this time, the couscous is ready. Remove the plastic wrap, pour it out carefully onto a tray, and fluff using a fork 26. Time to plate it up! Place some of the vegetables in the middle of each plate of couscous, adding a final touch with some mint leaves torn by hand 27. The vegetable couscous is ready to go!
You can keep the vegetable couscous in the fridge covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Not suitable for freezing.
Couscous is a typical North African ingredient, a sign of good luck and well wishes. In fact, it’s customary to give it to new parents or newlyweds!
Tradition has it that couscous is eaten by all the diners taking it from a single dish and using three fingers, because the devil eats with one finger, the prophet with two, while only greedy people use five fingers!
Garnishing the dish with toasted pine nuts or crushed peanuts will not only take the flavor up a notch, they’ll also make your couscous look even nicer! And remember: We used these vegetables because they’re in season, but you can decide to use whichever you like!