Monday, March 24, 2008

Vegetable Couscous with Steeped Paprika

I had this as a main dish since I wasn't very hungry (and couscous can be pretty filling!) along with a raita (sort of a cucumber salad). It would also be great used as a side dish for a chicken or fish meal.

Serves 2

2/3 cup vegetable stock
1/3 tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
Good sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup uncooked couscous
1/3 tbsp. olive oil
1/6 cup chopped onion
1 green onion, green and white parts
Small amount of chopped carrot (I think I used 3 baby carrots)
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped, seeded tomato
1 tsp. dried parsley

1. Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Remove 1 tbsp. of the broth and dissolve the paprika in it. Pour the paprika-broth mixture back into the saucepan. Add a little salt and pepper and return the broth to a boil.

2. Remove the broth mixture from the heat and add the couscous grains. Stir and cover then allow it to sit off the heat for 5 minutes.

3. Heat the olive oil, onion, and green onion in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute for about 2 minutes or until the onion begins to colour. Add the carrot and bell pepper and saute an additional minute. Add the tomato, saute 1 minute more. Add a little more salt if desired as well as another grind or two of black pepper, then stir. Add the parsley, stir again. Remove the mixture from the heat.

4. Transfer the veggies from the skillet to the couscous pan and fluff as you mix. Serve immediately.

**This can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Return the mixture to at least room temperature prior to serving.**

I found this in The Occasional Vegetarian by Karen Lee. I didn't make any changes :) Next time, though, I may try steeping a different spice or blend of spices in the broth and then add that to the couscous.

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