Ottolenghi’s Ultimate Winter Couscous

AuthorJen BookerDifficultyIntermediate

This is worth a little bit of time & effort and is amazing for lunches at work!
It smells absolutely amazing as it cooks!

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time15 minsCook Time1 hr 10 minsTotal Time1 hr 25 mins

 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
 8 shallots, peeled
 2 cinnamon sticks
 4 star anise
 3 bay leaves
 5 tbsp olive oil
 ½ tsp ground ginger
 ¼ tsp ground turmeric
 ¼ tsp hot paprika
 ¼ tsp chilli flakes
 300g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
 75g dried apricots, roughly chopped
 200g canned chickpeas
 350ml chickpea cooking liquid and/or water
 170g couscous
 large pinch of saffron threads
 260ml boiling vegetable stock
 20g vegan butter, broken into pieces
 25g harissa paste
 25g preserved lemon skin, finely chopped
 30g coriander leaves
 salt

1

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Place the carrots, parsnips and shallots in a large ovenproof dish. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaves, 4 tablespoons of the oil, ¾ teaspoon salt and all the other spices and mix well. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

2

Add the squash, stir and return to the oven. Continue cooking for about 35 minutes, by which time the vegetables should have softened while retaining a bite.

3

Now add the dried apricots and the chickpeas with their cooking liquid and/or water.

4

Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until hot.

5

About 15 minutes before the vegetables are ready, put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the saffron and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour the boiling stock over the couscous. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for about 10 minutes. Then add the butter and fluff up the couscous with a fork until the butter melts in. Cover again and leave somewhere warm.

6

To serve, spoon couscous into a deep plate or bowl. Stir the harissa and preserved lemon into the vegetables; taste and add salt if needed. Spoon the vegetables onto the centre of the couscous. Finish with plenty of coriander leaves.

Ingredients

 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
 8 shallots, peeled
 2 cinnamon sticks
 4 star anise
 3 bay leaves
 5 tbsp olive oil
 ½ tsp ground ginger
 ¼ tsp ground turmeric
 ¼ tsp hot paprika
 ¼ tsp chilli flakes
 300g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
 75g dried apricots, roughly chopped
 200g canned chickpeas
 350ml chickpea cooking liquid and/or water
 170g couscous
 large pinch of saffron threads
 260ml boiling vegetable stock
 20g vegan butter, broken into pieces
 25g harissa paste
 25g preserved lemon skin, finely chopped
 30g coriander leaves
 salt

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Place the carrots, parsnips and shallots in a large ovenproof dish. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaves, 4 tablespoons of the oil, ¾ teaspoon salt and all the other spices and mix well. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

2

Add the squash, stir and return to the oven. Continue cooking for about 35 minutes, by which time the vegetables should have softened while retaining a bite.

3

Now add the dried apricots and the chickpeas with their cooking liquid and/or water.

4

Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until hot.

5

About 15 minutes before the vegetables are ready, put the couscous in a large heatproof bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the saffron and ½ teaspoon salt. Pour the boiling stock over the couscous. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave for about 10 minutes. Then add the butter and fluff up the couscous with a fork until the butter melts in. Cover again and leave somewhere warm.

6

To serve, spoon couscous into a deep plate or bowl. Stir the harissa and preserved lemon into the vegetables; taste and add salt if needed. Spoon the vegetables onto the centre of the couscous. Finish with plenty of coriander leaves.

Ottolenghi’s Ultimate Winter Couscous

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