From Tagines & Couscous, Ghillie Başan, Ryland Peters & Small, 2010.
I’ve never really taken to couscous. I enjoy the grainy texture but it always seems to me to be very bland. Nevertheless, I do every so often make a couscous dish. I may eventually find that I discover the element that I seem to be missing.
For this dish I poured a cup of slightly salted warm water over a cup of couscous and let it stand to absorb the water. I then added a tablespoon of olive oil and rubbed it in with my hand. It then had butter cubes placed on top, it was covered with aluminium foil and placed in the oven while the broth was made.
I heated up about 4 cups of vegetable stock and when it was boiling added ½ cup broad beans, ½ cup green peas, a few green beans sliced, a sliced zucchini and some tinned artichoke hearts. These were let simmer for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Chopped herbs were added: coriander, mint and parsley.
The couscous was now served. Some couscous was placed in the centre of a soup dish, vegetables were strained from the broth and added on top and some broth poured around the couscous mound.
This was a pleasant dish though a little on the bland side. I think that I should have upped the flavour of the stock somewhat at the beginning stage. I depended too much on the vegetables flavouring the broth a bit more than they did. Nevertheless, the vegetables came through quite well, bringing their individual tastes to the fore.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔✔
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