Couscous is a staple of the North African diet and can be used to accompany tagines or with great success in salads. It’s made from semolina grains that have been rolled, dampened and coated with very fine wheat flour. This enlarges the individual grains and keeps them separate during cooking.
– 225g (8oz) couscous
– 450ml (¾ pint) vegetable stock
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 small red onion, finely diced
– 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
– finely grated rind of 1 lemon
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as parsley, basil and coriander
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 500g (1lb 2oz) baby carrots, trimmed and halved lengthways
– 500g (1lb 2oz) baby parsnips, trimmed and halved lengthways
– 2 tbsp light soy sauce
– 1 tbsp clear honey
– 1 mild red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
– 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). To prepare the spicy roasted root vegetables, place the oil in a large roasting tin and add the carrots and parsnips, tossing until well coated. Season generously. Roast for 15 minutes, until almost tender.
2. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl. Bring the stock to a simmer and then pour it over the couscous. Stir well, then cover with cling film and set aside for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the root vegetables from the oven, then drizzle over the soy sauce and honey and sprinkle the red chilli on top, tossing to coat evenly. Return to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes, until the vegetables are completely tender and lightly charred. Sprinkle over the parsley and sesame seeds and toss gently until evenly coated.
4. To finish the couscous, heat a frying pan with the olive oil. Sauté the onion, garlic and lemon rind for 2–3 minutes,until softened but not browned. Remove from the heat.
5. Gently separate the couscous grains with a fork. Season to taste and place in a pan to reheat, stirring continuously with a fork. Fold in the onion mixture along with the herbs.
6. To serve, divide the couscous among warmed bowls and arrange the spicy roasted root vegetables on plates alongside.
Recipe from ‘The Nation’s Favourite Healthy Food – 100 Good For You Recipes’, published by Gill & MacMillan, on shelves now or see Nevenmaguire.com
Since Neven took over the family business in 2001, MacNean House & Restaurant has been consistently winning awards for its food, service, wine offer and overall dining experience. In addition to his Neven Maguire Cookery School, where Neven presents a range of exciting cookery classes for all skill levels, he has also launched his exclusive ‘The Chef’s Table’ dining experience. Hosted in the beautiful and private surrounds of his cookery school, Neven and his team cook in front of diners and present the restaurant’s acclaimed Tasting Menu. Accompanying wines are presented and served by the restaurant’s sommelier. Visit nevenmaguire.com for more information.