Moroccan Couscous with Saffron
Couscous is a traditional staple throughout Northern Africa, where it is thought to have originated. It is made by rolling and shaping moistened semolina wheat which is then coated with finely ground wheat flour. It is often served with a meat stew. This recipe from Alicia Silverstone's book "The Kind Diet" offers a delicious vegan alternative.
2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/4” to 1/2” cubes 2 cups yellow onion, large dice 1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into 1/4” to 1/2” cubes 1 1/2 cups zucchini, cut into 3/4” cubes 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Fine sea salt 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter (you may substitute with olive oil) 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads 1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the squash, onion, carrots and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once with a spatula about midway through. While the vegetables roast, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cumin, saffron and salt to taste. Cover the pan and steep for 15 minutes. Scrape the roasted vegetables and their juices into a large bowl, and add the couscous. Bring the vegetable broth back to a boil, and pour over the couscous mixture all at once. Cover tightly with a plate and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork, and serve.
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