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.
- 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
- 4 TBSP toasted flaked almonds
- 2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
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!
Super Speedy Version
To save on chopping time, substitute the fresh vegetables with a bag of frozen grilled Mediterranean vegetables.