Moroccan(-ish) Couscous

This one pot Moroccan-inspired vegetarian couscous makes a deliciously light dinner or side dish. Turmeric, ginger, saffron, and lemon zest add a bright sparkle to the dish with fresh mint and parsley stirred through just before serving for an uplifting kick. It can easily be made vegan by substituting vegetable stock. I love it as an easy single dinner, especially in the summer, or to brighten up a dreary day, but this recipe can be multiplied to feed more.

Moroccan(-ish) Couscous

  • Servings: 1+
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Chicken stock is my preferred method for cooking couscous but substitute vegetable stock if you want to make this dish vegan. The Moroccan notes come from the spices and lemon, as well as chickpeas, carrots, and raisins, so I think those are essential, but the other veggies can be swapped depending on the season, availability, and your preferences. Any leftovers keep well in the refrigerator and taste delicious served cold!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of a small zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 of a medium sweet pepper, red or orange, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • Zest of 1/2 of a lemon
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup couscous
  • 1 bunch fresh curly parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, chiffonade

Directions

Leaving the chicken stock in the measuring cup, stir in turmeric, ginger, and saffron threads to dissolve. Let sit while sautéing the vegetables.

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat and sauté zucchini for 2 minutes. Add peppers and carrots, sauté for another 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Stir through the lemon zest and then pour spiced chicken stock into the pan. Add juice of half of the lemon (reserving the other half for the end of cooking), chickpeas, and raisins. Check the flavor of the broth, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring broth to a simmer and stir through couscous. Immediately cover the pan and turn off the heat. Allow to sit 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff couscous with a fork.

Quickly stir through parsley and mint. Taste for flavor and adjusting, adding as much juice from the remaining lemon half as suits your fancy. Serve and enjoy!

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