North African Roast Veg and Couscous

Have it warm fresh from the oven or chilled overnight. Heat it up or don’t. This simple and delicious dish is super flexible as a picnic dish, your weekly meal prep, or a side at a friend’s potluck.

Homemad Moroccan inspired roast vegetables and cous cous. A salad and a picnic main.

The secret ingredient for this scrumptious simple dish is Ras El Hanout.

Never heard of Ras el hanout before? It’s a common spice blend from North Africa, primarily from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Though mixes may vary, the common spices in the mix include peppercorns, cumin, cardamom, paprika, cinnamon, fenugreek, chili, garlic, coriander, turmeric and more.

With the increasing popularity of North African foods, you can now more easily find this spicy blend in supermarkets. If in doubt, Amazon has your back. I like spicier foods, so I tend to choose redder Ras el hanout spice blends like Eat Well’s version. However, if you aren’t a heat fan, choose a Ras el hanout spicy mix which has the chili and cayenne pepper lower on the ingredients list. You can dilute the heat by adding more of your favorite non-spicy spices to the mix like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and turmeric.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try my simple recipe for ras el hanout.

So now that you have the spice, the vegetables are to your choosing, but I recommend veggies that can hold up to roasting and grilling. Also, if you’re feeling creative add fruit like sultanas or even peaches to the roasting to add a unique sweet dimension.

With spices in hand and your veggies of choice, let’s get cooking. 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup of couscous
  • ¾ cups of boiling water
  • 1 tbsp of ras el hanout
  • ½ zucchini
  • ½  eggplant
  • ½  onion
  • 125g of mushrooms
  • 125g of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red or yellow bell pepper
  • 6 tbsps of Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat over to 170C fan/350F
  2. Chop up all your vegetables into medium chunks larger than bit size. While baking in the oven, they will shrink. For the cherry tomatoes, I recommend cutting them in half.
  3. In a bowl with the veggies, toss them with the ras el hanout and about 3 tbsps of olive oil or more if desired. Add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper.
  4. On a baking tray evenly spread out the veggies and once the oven is preheated bake for about 50-55 minutes until the vegetables are slightly charred.
  5. In a bowl, cover the couscous with a little over 3/4 cups of boiling water. Place a plate on top of the bowl to allow the couscous to steam and soak up the water. This should take about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the plate and use a fork to break up the couscous and pour in 2-3 tbsps of oil olive and mix.
  7. In a large bowl, mix the couscous and the roast veg. Scrap as much of the oil from the baking tray as possible. That is a delicious marinade.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste with the remainder of your olive oil. Then you’re done. Add parsley as a topping and even pomegranate seeds. You can serve it warm or chilled as a side or as your main. This simple dish is a versatile crowd-pleaser.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s