Couscous and roasted vegetables.

Do you have favorite recipes that you make, then forget about, and then discover again? That’s this recipe for couscous with roasted vegetables. I went on a kick and made it regularly a few years ago, and then promptly forgot about it … until I recently opened Ina Garten’s classic “Barefoot in Paris” (from which it’s adapted). “Oh, yeah, I LOVE that dish!” And it was on the menu the next night.

Rob and I had big bowls of this hearty, healthful couscous-and-veggie concoction as our main dish that night, with a small green salad and a piece of crusty sourdough. For the next several days, I enjoyed leftovers for lunch. Warm, room temp, right out of the fridge — doesn’t matter. It’s always good.

This couscous and vegetable recipe would be a great side for grilled or roasted chicken or fish. You can also tinker with the vegetables: Red bell pepper would make a great addition or substitution, as would sweet potato, red onion, mushrooms or eggplant. Make sure to cut the vegetables into same-sized pieces for even cooking.

Again with this recipe, I’m tinkering with the format — in paragraph style rather than a list of ingredients and instructions. Let me know what you think!


makes 4 generous side-dish servings

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil. Cut the following vegetables into roughly 3/4-inch pieces: 1 small butternut squash, 1 large onion, 1 medium zucchini and 2 large carrots. Divide the vegetables between the baking sheets, and toss them with a splash of olive oil; season with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and 1 teaspoon cumin. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but not soft (test with the tip of a paring knife). When the vegetables are done, transfer them to a large bowl; add 1 big handful parsley, chopped.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup chicken stock and a pinch of saffron threads, plus a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to a boil; stir in 3/4 cup couscous. Cover the pan and turn off the heat; let sit for about 5 minutes until the broth is absorbed. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the couscous to bowl of vegetables and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

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