Spring vegetable couscous
- May 2005
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 1 bunch baby turnips, about 500g, roots and tops separated
- 1 tsp salt
- 400g can flageolet or cannellini beans
- 2 tsp tomato purée
- 2 tbsp sour grape juice or white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- Generous pinch of saffron
- 300ml water or stock of your choice
- 8 young carrots, trimmed, scrubbed and halved lengthways
- 4 sprue (thin) asparagus spears, cut into 3-4cm pieces
- 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
- 200g couscous
- 1 tbsp softened butter
- Gently heat the oil in a large, wide saucepan, ideally with a lid. Add the garlic and cook until translucent. Add the turnip roots and salt. Stir, then reduce the heat to low, cover and leave to sweat for a good 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the beans plus all the liquor from the can. Simmer, then add the tomato purée, grape juice or vinegar, dill, saffron and water or stock. Simmer until the turnips are tender. Add the carrots, asparagus and spring onions and simmer for a few minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, put the couscous in a bowl and pour over 400ml boiling water, cover and leave for 5 minutes or according to pack instructions. Fluff up with a fork, then season well and stir in the butter.
- Remove the vegetables from the heat. Fold in the turnip tops and season. Spoon the couscous into serving bowls and ladle over the vegetables and stock.
Couscous is a traditional North African ingredient, made with hard wheat semolina. When cooked, it becomes a light, soft grain, ideal for soaking up sauces.
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