Seven-Vegetable Couscous

Definitely an acquired taste!


Total: 1 hr 5 min
Active: 30 min
Yields: 4-6 servings


Seven-Vegetable Stew: 

3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 small turnips, peeled and quartered
1 medium yellow onion, quartered lengthwise, root end intact
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 fennel bulb, thickly sliced lengthwise, root end intact
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon peeled, chopped, fresh ginger
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons each ground cumin, paprika, and sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
2 cups water
1 pound butternut squash
1 small zucchini, cut into 2-inch rounds
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, tied together with kitchen string
1 cup canned whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices 


2 cups cold water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked couscous
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Harissa (Tunisian hot sauce)


For the stew: Put the garlic, turnips, onion, carrot, fennel, raisins, ginger, salt, cumin, paprika, sugar, turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon in a large soup pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are somewhat soft, about 10 minutes. Halve and seed the butternut squash and cut it into wedges. Tie parsley sprigs together with kitchen string. Add squash, zucchini, chickpeas, and parsley sprigs to the pot. Using your fingers and working over the pot, tear the tomatoes into big pieces and add them to the pot with their juices. Simmer the stew, covered, until it is slightly thick and fragrant, and the vegetables are fork tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. (You can test the vegetables a bit sooner, remove them as soon as they are tender, and return them to the pot when you are ready to serve. All the vegetables should be tender enough to cut with the side of a fork, but still hold their shapes.) Remove cinnamon sticks.

For the couscous: Bring water to a boil with the butter and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in the couscous, pull the saucepan off the heat, cover, and set aside until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is plump, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and fluff with a fork.

To serve, spread the couscous over a large serving platter and, using a slotted spoon, mound the vegetables in the center. Pour some of the broth over the vegetables and sprinkle with the almonds. Pass the remaining broth and the harissa.

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