Friday, 30 November 2012

Oriental Garden

Verdure Miste Marocchine sulle Couscous
Moroccan Vegetables on Couscous

Nature not only provides us with a wonderful array of fragrances and flavors of course, but also
of colors and textures. I often get asked about my dishes and how I manage to make things look so colorful... I guess I just don't cook my ingredients to death! Carrots are orange, zucchini are green, peppers and tomatoes are red, yellow... you name it! Everything you need to make a beautiful and tasty meal grows right there in your garden- and ain't that just wonderful?!?

Take this evenings supper... everyday ingredients again, spiced up with Ras al Hanout and ginger, sweetened with raisins and honey and combined with light and minty couscous- so easy, so exotic and so quick to make! So let's go get us some vegetables and let's get cooking!

The vegetables I used were the last couple of slices of eggplant from last night, red, yellow and green peppers, carrot, zucchini and onion. I started off by cutting the eggplant into bit-sized flat slices and browning them in a dry and very hot non-stick pan... it works a lot better than you may think! Once they were brown I was ready to flip them over, I sprinkled them with Ras al Hanout Rouge powder, which soon stuck to the moist top surface of the slices. Then I flipped them over and only then added a light drizzle of olive oil- just to finish the slices off. 

Once they were nice and brown, I set the slices to one side and added the other vegetables to the pan, along with some chopped ginger and garlic. I added a little olive oil and sautéed them for 5-6 minutes, along with a squeeze of lemon,a little more Ras al Hanout and a little green Tabasco sauce.

Whilst the vegetables were cooking, I prepared the couscous, by chopping a couple of handfuls of parsley and mint very finely and adding the herbs to a couple of cups of couscous. I seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil and then added enough boiling water to cover everything. I stirred this together with a little salt, pepper and olive oil and let it sit and fluff-up whilst I finished off the vegetables...

Once the vegetables were done, I added a handful of raisins and a little boiling water, then a squeeze of honey whilst everything was bubbling away, to give it a hint of sweetness and a lovely sheen... mmm! 

I served the vegetables on a bed of the moist and delicious couscous, with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts and a last, light sprinkle of Ras al Hanout... what a treat! I hope you give this a try some time- the other great thing about it is that it is a great way to use up left over odds and ends like I did this evening... but ssshhh! Don't tell everyone!

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