This dish is a family favorite and is wonderful for hosting. Use it as a side dish or add some grilled chicken or stewed lamb and make it a full meal. It is packed full of vegetables and spices that are bold and vibrant in both color and flavor.
This dish is diverse and can be made with any of the last bit of veggies you need to clear out of the fridge, the focus is on the spices. You can use red, orange, yellow, and green bell peppers, jalapenos or serrano, colored carrots, onions, tomatoes, peas, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, a hand full of spinach, olives, raisins, prunes or dates, chickpeas, kidney beans, and even black beans.
Try to be creative in this meal regarding what you have on hand and do not be afraid to make it your own.. This dish is easy enough not to mess up because of the simplicity in browning vegetables and cooking couscous. No matter what, the focus of this recipe is always the same, to bring you back to the table!
Table Talk: This North African delight is an awesome conversation starter for the family. Spend time talking about the geography and cultural differences noticed in this recipe versus others.
Moroccan Inspired Couscous with Vegetable Medley and Chickpeas
Serve this warm and colorful dish with a mezze of marinated feta, grilled chicken, olives, beets, naan. For those who enjoy savory and sweet, slice up a banana overtop.
3 tbsp of olive oil or grapeseed, divided
1 medium red onion
3 bell peppers, multi color, sliced
2 carrots, cut in rounds
1 cup of green beans, cut to 1 inch long
1 jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds for milder heat)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup of prunes, chopped
1 cup of couscous
1 1/2 cup of broth*
1 14.5 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup of cilantro and extra for garnish
Lemon, for serving
Meat for serving**
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of coriander
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper, (bring it down to 1/8 tsp if you want to lessen the heat)
1/4 tsp of black pepper
- Heat up a pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp of oil.
- Sautee the red onion, bell peppers, and carrots for about 5-6 minutes until they are soft (you do not want to brown them and want the vibrancy of color).
- Make a well in the center, add the additional tbsp of oil and add your garlic, jalapeno, prunes, and spices. Stir them in with the veggies and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add your chickpeas and stir them in. Add in your broth, green beans, and cilantro, stir, and bring it up to a simmer. Stir in your couscous, cover, and take it off the heat. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and then top with cilantro and lemon juice. Enjoy!
*To keep the meal vegetarian use a vegetable base broth to include mushroom, or use chicken broth for a bolder flavor of meat.
**Add in grilled chicken or lamb to make this dish a full meal for those that desire to eat beyond vegetarian!