Roasted Vegetables with Couscous

Serves 6

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus a little extra for serving

2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges

3 carrots, cut into chunks

2 parsnips, cut into chunks

2 shallots, peeled

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 hot red chile, seeded and finely sliced

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed

½ teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed

4 cardamom pads, crushed

1 pound ripe plum tomatoes, peeled

2 zucchini, thickly sliced

Large pinch of saffron

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

14 ounces, couscous

5 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine

Bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Cilantro, chopped

Dash balsamic vinegar

1. Heat the oven to 375 F. 

2. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed roasting pan directly over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, parsnips and shallots. Cook for about 10 minutes or until golden, sitrring frequently. Add spices and stir well, coating the vegetables with all the spices. Cook a further 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes, zucchini, saffron, salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven to roast for 40 minutes.

3. Check after 30 minutes, add a little water or vegetable stock if needed.

4.  Place the couscous in a large bowl and cover with boiling water to a level of 1 inch above the grains. Mix well and leave it to stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan, add chopped parsley and cilantro and cook for 1 minute. Pour over the couscous, mix well and season it.

5. Take the vegetables out of the oven, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve them on top of the couscous.

Note from Susan:  I used dried ground spices for coriander, cumin and cardomom.

Tip: Try this dish with a handful of raisins, chopped apricots, and plenty of chopped mint.

from My French Kitchen by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde. 

(used with permission of Joanne Harris)

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