Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stealthy yellow couscous

March 25, 2014

This dish's monochromatic tones belie its varied textures and flavours. Once your eyes adjust to the yellow you might notice turmeric-tinted couscous, soft chickpeas, golden almond flakes, dried apricot gems and sliced savoury sausage. You'd have to dig in for a taste to pick up the garlic, paprika and lemon.

Unusually, my feature need-to-use-this-up ingredient of the night was a jar of homemade vegetable stock. But I had almost everything else for Veggie num num's recipe in the pantry and the herb garden too - I needed only to jot the chickpeas and sausages onto my shopping list. With a little preparatory measuring and chopping this comes together very easily; without it there's a risk you'll get caught with spices and/or garlic burning in a frypan while you mince that last clove and drain the chickpeas. (Ahem.)

There's not a lot of fresh vegetable matter here so I'd recommend a big green side salad before calling this a meal. Alternatively you could break up the shades of yellow by tossing in some spinach, capsicum and tomato.

Stealthy yellow couscous
(slightly adapted from Veggie num num)

1 1/2 cups couscous
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained (could be reduced to 1)
1/4 cup dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped (I'd use more next time)
1 wedge preserved lemon, flesh removed and skin finely chopped
1 lemon, zest & juice
1/4 cup flaked almonds
300g veg*n sausages
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the stock into a small saucepan on medium heat. When the stock is hot, pour three-quarters of it over the couscous and stir it all a little with a fork. The couscous should absorb the liquid is just a few minutes.

Make sure all the ingredients are ready to go: mince the garlic, measure out the spices, drain the chickpeas, dice the apricots, parsley and preserved lemon, zest and juice the fresh lemon.

Dry-roast the almonds in a large frypan, being careful not to burn them. When they're golden and fragrant, set them aside in a bowl then return the frypan to the heat.

Fry the sausages until they're crisp and golden, then remove them from the pan and slice them diagonally.

Return the pan to a lower heat, and warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in it. Add the spices and cook them for about a minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the chickpeas and remaining stock to the pan, bringing it to the boil and evaporating off some of the liquid. Add the apricots and preserved lemon to the pan, then after another couple of minutes stir through the sausage slices. Remove it all from the heat and set it aside a moment.

Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Pour in the lemon juice and remaining olive oil and stir it through. Fold in the lemon zest, parsley and almonds. Sprinkle over lots of salt and pepper. Fold in the sausage and chickpea mixture and serve.

1 comment:

  1. I love the sweet, sour and other spice notes of this cous cous. I might leave the veg sausage out though, it seems packed enough without them