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Vegetable Couscous with Harissa Sauce
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Middle Eastern dish of assorted vegetables and couscous served with an authentic Harissa sauce



  • 3/4 cup (175 ml) olive oil, divided
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 1 celery root, cut into large chunks
  • 2 white turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml). dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml). dried marjoram
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml). Ras El Hanout, divided - (recipe follows)
  • 5 cups (1175 ml) vegetable stock
  • 2 cups (475 ml) canned chickpeas, drained
  • 5 cups (1175 ml) couscous
  • salt to taste
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • Ras El Hanout:
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml). ground ginger
  • 2 tsp (10 ml). ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp (10 ml). ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp (10 ml). allspice
  • 2 tsp (10 ml). ground mace
  • 2 tsp (10 ml). ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp (10 ml). ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp (10 ml). ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp (5 ml). ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml). ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml). ground ground red pepper
  • Harissa sauce:
  • 1 tsp (5 ml). caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp (5 ml). coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml). cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, quartered
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml). sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml). red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml). dried mint leaves
  • 1 2 Tbsp (30 ml). olive oil
  • Heat 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil in medium skillet until hot, but not smoking.
  • Add mushrooms and cook, stirring until softened and barely brown; remove from heat and set aside.
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a large pot until medium hot, but not smoking; add next seven ingredients.
  • Stir in 1 Tbsp (15 ml). Ras El Hanout; cover and cook over medium heat until partially cooked, about ten minutes; stir in three cups of vegetable stock.
  • Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender but not overdone, twenty to thirty minutes.
  • During last ten minutes, stir in the reserved portobello mushrooms and the drained chickpeas.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm.
  • Rinse the couscous in sieve; add 2 tbsp (30 ml) Ras El Hanout and salt to taste.
  • Let stand for 20 minutes, then seperate the grains with your fingers.
  • Bring the remaining two cups vegetable stock to a simmer.
  • Add couscous and cook over medium heat to steam and heat through.
  • To serve, mound couscous in center of large platter and surround with the vegetable mixture.
  • Garnish with mint leaves and serve with harissa sauce on side.
  • To prepare Ras El Hanout:
  • Mix all ingredients thouroughly - makes 1/2 cup (125 ml).
  • To prepare Harissa Sauce:
  • Toast caraway, coriander and cumin seeds in small dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic, about two to three minutes.
  • Shake pan often to prevent burning; remove from heat and cool to room temp.
  • Grind to fine powder in small blender or with mortar and pettle.
  • Add garlic and salt and grind until smooth.
  • Add paprika, red pepper, mint leaves and olive oil and grind until the ingredients are well combined.
  • The paste will be very thick and dry.
  • Transfer to small jar and cover with olive oil; refrigerate up to six months.
This is an fabulous recipe which was found on the food tv website. It is a delicious and substancial vegetarian meal and is loved by non-vegetarians as well!

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