Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tonight's Dinner: Couscous with Carrots

I picked up a new cookbook, Spice, at Bookhampton yesterday. Although I haven't had a chance to cook from it yet, I was inspired by Ana Sortun's formula for the Moroccan Ras el Hannout to spice up my carrots from Bette and Dale's with cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and paprika before adding them to some whole wheat couscous I bought at Provisions this morning. Little lamb meatballs covered with sesame seeds and a local spinach salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil rounded out our dinner.

Couscous with Carrots
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 cup whole wheat couscous
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
3 scallions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch saffron threads (optional)
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Place the couscous in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add the carrots, scallions, olive oil, and salt and cook, covered, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden around the edges, another 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add the garlic, paprika, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and saffron if using and cook until fragrant, about 30 minutes. Stir in the water, turn the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, remove from the heat, and let stand 12 minutes.
4. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the couscous, fluff with a fork, and season with salt.

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