I’m short on words today. It’s a Monday.
You know how those can be.
I wasn’t quite ready to say farewell to a peaceful weekend with its pancake mornings, coffeeshop afternoons, and the cool feel of church pews in an evening with just enough breeze to make its way through the wide double doors.
Last night a crash of thunder woke us both up at the same time. We sat straight up and looked at one another in that fuzzy way that only happens at 2am.
I was on my way to a meeting this afternoon when it started to rain. “Isn’t it strange to rain this time of year?” I asked my colleague. “No. We call this the ‘rain that washes the mango flowers clean’.”
I like that.
So here’s to a good crop of mangos, and a fresh start tomorrow.
In the meantime, I couldn’t wait to share this couscous. It’s hearty and simple, and you can (and dare I say, you should) pack it completely full of all those lovely root vegetables that you might have lurking in your kitchen this time of year. I’ve made this dish so very many times before, but every time I wish I could fix it in my brain for all those dinner instances when I can’t come up with a creative side dish. This couscous goes with just about anything I could ever dream of serving.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 pounds assorted vegetables, cut into even ¾ inch pieces (a combination of carrots, butternut squash, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes are my favorites)
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped (1 onion)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 1 and ⅓ cups uncooked whole-wheat couscous (regular couscous will also work)
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (omit for a vegan version)
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons green onions, finely sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl combine the vegetables and onion. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and toss to evenly coat. Spread the vegetables on a large baking dish. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and golden, about 45 minutes. When finished, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Pour the couscous into the boiling liquid while gently stirring it to combine. Immediately remove the pan from heat and place a tight-fitting lid on top of the pan. Let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add the butter to the couscous, tossing the couscous with a fork to fluff. Gently stir in the roasted vegetables, parsley, and green onions. Taste and add additional salt, if desired (depending on the saltiness of your broth, you may not need additional salt). Serve immediately.