Don't be scared of how long the list of ingredients is, spices are cheap from bulk food stores and if you'd like a recipe for preserved lemons I can always share that one too....
I truly believe in the holistic properties of spices; cinnamon to help regulate blood sugar levels, turmeric for it's amazing anti-inflammatory and antiseptic benefits, ginger for helping nausea, and even coriander for anxiety! This recipe has a bounty of heat generating spices to warm your soul, and make you feel like you just snuggled back under the covers for a sleep in.
Ultimate winter couscous....serves 4
2 carrots, peeled + cut into chunks handful dried apricots
2 parsnips, peeled + cut into chunks 1/2 can of chickpeas or 200g freshly cooked
8 shallots, peeled 350ml chickpea cooking liquid or water
2 cinnamon sticks 170g couscous
4 star anise large pinch of saffron threads
3 bay leaves 260ml boiling vegetable stock
olive oil knob of butter
1/2 tsp ground ginger knob of harissa paste
1/4 tsp ground turmeric quarter of a preserved lemon, finely chopped
1/4 tsp hot paprika handful chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
300g butternut squash, peeled + cut into chunks
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Place the carrots, parsnips and shallots in a large ovenproof dish. Add all the spices, bay leaves, big drizzle of oil, large pinch of sea salt and mix well. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the pumpkin, stir and return to the oven for another 35 minutes. The vegetables should have softened yet still retaining a bite. Now add the apricots, chickpeas and their cooking liquid or water. Return to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes or until hot.
About 15 minutes before the vegetables are ready, put the couscous into a large heatproof bowl with a tbsp olive oil, the saffron and a pinch of sea salt. Pour the boiling stock over the couscous. Cover with cling film and leave for about 10 minutes. Then add the butter and fluff up the couscous with a fork until the butter melts in. Cover again and keep somewhere warm.
To serve, spoon couscous into a deep plate or bowl. Stir the harissa and preserved lemon into the vegetables; taste and season if needed. Spoon the vegetables onto the centre of the couscous. Finish with plenty of coriander leaves.