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Vegetarian Couscous

By: 
Tina Wasserman
vegetarian couscous

This Moroccan-inspired dish is a perfect way to reap the bounty of wonderful vegetables available during the Sukkot season. It also makes a beautiful, edible centerpiece for your dinner table in the sukkah.

Makes 4 main dish servings
Ingredients: 
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
3/4 cup dark raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock, divided use
1 small (1 pound) eggplant, sliced into 1-inch cubes
2 yellow crookneck squash, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds, or 1 cup asparagus cut into 1-inch lengths
4 ounces of mushrooms (any type), caps cut into quarters (portabellas cut into 1-inch cubes)
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup fine couscous
1 or more Tablespoons of finely minced parsley for garnish
Directions: 
  1. Heat a large frying pan or 4-quart saucepan for 30 seconds, add the olive oil, and heat for 15 seconds. Sauté the garlic and onion until lightly golden. Do not allow the garlic to brown.
  2. Add the carrots, tomato sauce, raisins, salt, cumin, and 1 cup of the stock. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the carrots are crisp tender--thoroughly cooked but firm and not mushy.
  3. Add the zucchini and the eggplant and cook for 10 minutes. Spoon in the crookneck squash or asparagus pieces, mushrooms, and chickpeas and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of stock along with the butter or margarine. Add the couscous. Cover, remove from the heat, and allow the pan to sit for 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, spoon the couscous into the center of a large rimmed dish, and surround with the cooked vegetables. Pour the sauce evenly over all, and sprinkle with a little parsley for garnish.
Tina's Tidbits: 

  • Always heat your sauté pan before adding oil. This prevents the oil from adhering to the pan and the food from sticking to the oil.
  • When cooking vegetables, always add in first those that require more cooking time.
  • The fins of portabella mushrooms will blacken foods. Before adding a portabella to any recipe, scrape the fins off its underside with a spoon and use only the remaining mushroom cap.
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