vegetables stew

late summer vegetable dish served with couscous

29th September 2015

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For Yasmin – a favourite of yours and a thank-you for all your patience in holding those heavy skillets, plates, seeds, vegetables and flowers in all sorts of elements – wind, rain, cold and in all those inconvenient times…Xx

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This is one of the weekly lunches I make for the children to take to school, Jonathan to work and for me to have my first meal at around 11-ish.  I have a list in the kitchen of meals which I refer to so I don’t have to spend time thinking about what to make when I start cooking early morning and the combination works for everyone’s likes and dislikes. 

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late summer vegetable dish served with whole-wheat couscous

Serves 4

This dish is perfect when needing a simple, soft tasting dish.  The key is the lightly cook the vegetables so they remain vibrant and firm.  When needing a more hearty, protein dish instead of the potatoes, add 1 cup cooked chickpeas. When available, corn fresh off the cob is a nice addition. The couscous is great as it cooks up in only 10 minutes.  Whole wheat couscous is a finely crushed form of durum wheat semolina, less processed than pasta with more fibre and nutrients.

for the couscous

2 cups whole-wheat couscous

3 cups boiling water

1 Tbsp ghee

½ tsp salt

for the vegetables

2 Tbsp ghee/olive oil

1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds

1 fresh/dried bay leaf

2 carrot, chopped into diagonals

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut

½ – 1 cup water

1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced into rounds/2 sticks celery

1 zucchini or handful of green beans, chopped into diagonals

1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

3 Tbsp small dried currants

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh coriander/parsley

¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts/pine nut parmesan

preparation 

1.  Place the couscous in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of ghee/oil and salt, pour the boiling water over the couscous, cover and leave for 10 minutes, when ready to serve fluff up with a fork.

2.  Place the potatoes in a saucepan with a little water and simmer until soft and cooked.

3.  In a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the oil, when hot add the yellow mustard seeds and saute for a few seconds, then add the bay leaf, celery, carrots, red pepper, and green beans – cover and simmer for 4 minutes or more.

4.  Once the vegetables have softened slightly but still firm and vibrant, add the soft potatoes and currants – simmer for a further 2 more minutes.

5.  Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and a generous few rounds of freshly ground pepper.

To serve, spoon the couscous into a deep plate, bowl or lunch box.  Sprinkle over a good helping of fresh parsley or coriander.  Spoon the vegetables onto the centre of the couscous.  Drizzle with a good tasting olive oil, a generous sprinkling of pine nut parmesan or toasted pine nuts, garnish again with freshly chopped coriander or parsley and a few rounds of freshly ground pepper.

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