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Moroccan Fruity Couscous

This gently spiced, fruity couscous makes a lovely summer weekend lunch or speedy weeknight supper. As a main meal, we like to serve it with strips of warm pitted bread or garlic bread, baby salad leaves and a large dollop of hummus. I've kept it mild enough for children, but feel free to spice it up with some chilli.
Hands-on time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Supper
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: Buffets, Couscous, Lunchbox Ideas, Plant-Based, Vegan Dinners, Vegan Lunch, Vegan Picnics, Vegan Supper
Servings: 4
Author: Sharon

Ingredients

  • 245 g / 1⅓ cups couscous, preferably whole wheat
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil drained and sliced
  • 8 dried apricots chopped
  • 30 g / 3 TBSP dried cranberries or sultanas
  • 480 ml / 2 cups boiling hot vegetable stock (broth)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil divided
  • 1 medium onion (140g) finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 bell pepper (190g) deseeded and diced (or use a mix of different coloured pepper pieces to make it extra vibrant!)
  • 1 medium courgette (zucchini) (240g) quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ - 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • small handful of fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)or parsley roughly chopped
  • salt to taste

Garnish

  • 4 TBSP toasted flaked almonds
  • 2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  • Place the couscous, sun-dried tomatoes, dried apricots and cranberries/sultanas in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the boiling hot stock on top, cover with a plate and leave for 7 minutes. Drizzle on ½ TBSP olive oil (or oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes) and fluff up with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, heat ½ TBSP oil in a large frying pan (skillet) on medium heat and cook the onion, garlic, bell pepper and courgette for a couple of minutes. Stir in the dried spices, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 5 minutes. If the vegetables start to stick, add a splash of water to the pan.
  • Once ready, tip the couscous into the pan along with the fresh herbs. Gently stir through to combine. Season with salt, to taste.
  • Divide between four bowls. Sprinkles on the nuts and seeds and serve.
  • Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for three days. They're great for packing into lunchboxes as an alternative to sandwiches. Be sure to add a dollop of hummus to the bowl. It helps the couscous stick together!

Notes

Super Speedy Version
To save on chopping time, substitute the fresh vegetables with a bag of frozen grilled Mediterranean vegetables.