Before I talk about this comforting and tasty Vegetable Couscous, I would like to announce the annouce the winner of the "Where Women Cook: Celebrate!" book giveaway. Folks! Congratulations to Heather from La Tarte Tatin all the way in Seattle!
Heather, please email your snail mail address to mytartelette AT gmail DOT com and I will put the book in the mail first thing Monday morning!
Now back to the Vegetable Couscous....
Earlier this year, Food & Wine Magazine assigned recipes to food bloggers and photographers for images for their site. I had a blast shooting the ones they gave me. Less than 48 hours after I had submitted my images, I got another email saying that they loved my images and could I shoot another ten. They were afraid timing was tight before the holidays. Little did they know my schedule! As a photographer, there is little room for normalcy! Weekends, holidays... we follow the food.
And I would follow that bowl of Vegetable Couscous everywhere. And I did. It was one of the favorites from the shoot. Reminded me of my childhood. The couscous dish my grandmother used to make, just a bit lighter. We eat everything, with fish and vegetarian dinners being the majority so this was perfectly fit for a light dinner al fresco. Paired with a tomato salad and a glass of rosé, it turned out to be all we needed to satisfy our hunger and enjoy the evening.
Hope you enjoy the recipe! Have a wonderful weekend!
Vegetable Couscous, with slight modifications, from Food&Wine:
Note: you can make this gluten free by using gluten free couscous instead of regular one. For the sake of making the recipe as per the requirements of the photo shoot, I used regular couscous.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into thin slices
4 carrots, cut into thin slices
1 fennel bulb, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small eggplant cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, including seeds and ribs, cut diagonally into thin slices
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
5 1/2 cups water
1 2/3 cups drained and rinsed chickpeas (one 15-ounce can)
1 1/3 cups couscous
In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion, carrots, fennel, eggplant, garlic, and jalapeño. Cook, covered, until the vegetables get soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, coriander, caraway seeds, 1 teaspoon of the
salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring once or twice for another minute.
Add 3 1/2 cups of the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas, stir and cook another 2 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the couscous: in a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the
couscous. Cover ad take the pot off the heat. Let stand for 5 to 8 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Spoon some couscous in individual bowls and spoon some of the vegetable stew and broth over it.