Adapted from A Dash of Flavour
I am making Moroccan stuffed vegetables and I wanted a dish for the starch eaters in my home. I found this recipe on-line and my first thought was to make it Californian, raw vegetables and starch with a dressing. As I read through the directions I began to understand the appeal of the lightly sautéed vegetables. Still, I could not help myself from making some changes.
Preserved lemons are a common ingredient in Moroccan and North African cuisines. The pickled lemon peel is tart and intensely lemony. If you do not have a Middle Eastern store in your neighborhood you can make your own, but it takes weeks.
After Dinner Note: This dish only came out so-so. It was OK, but it could have been better. This was in no way a reflection on the recipe, but in my planning. I was short on time and I was trying to prep as I was cooking. This dish is like a Chinese stir fry. Have all of your ingredients prepped and ready before you start sautéing, or the “lightly sautéed” vegetables will turn out over cooked.
Karl’s Moroccan Couscous Salad
½ cup couscous
1 Tbs. butter (olive oil for Vegan)
1 tsp. olive oil
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
2 Tbs. currants
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
½ tsp. cumin, ground
1/8 tsp. cinnamon, ground
1/8 tsp. turmeric, ground
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped very finely
¼ cup curly-leafed parsley, chopped very finely
¼ cup mint, chopped very finely
2 Tbs. capers, preferably tiny nonpareils
2 small Persian pickles, minced
¼ preserved lemon, skin only, rinsed and chopped very finely
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, mashed to a paste
½ tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt
2 Tbs. almonds, sliced and toasted (optional)
1. Bring ½ cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the couscous and butter.
Tip: The butter prevents the grains of couscous from clumping together.
3. Cover the pot and set it aside for 5 minutes.
4. Fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains.
Tip: Remove the lid and fluff the couscous after five minutes. or it will continue steaming and over cook. Leaving the lid on causes the couscous to form sticky clumps that even the butter cannot overcome.
5. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for two minutes.
6. Add carrot and currants and continue sautéing for two more minutes.
7. Pull the vegetables to the side of the skillet and add the garlic, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric to the hole in the center. Sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant and mix in the vegetables.
8. Add the tomato and pepper and sauté for one minute more.
9. Put the sautéed vegetables, olives, cilantro, parsley, mint, capers, pickles, and couscous into a large bowl.
10. Put the preserved lemon, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sugar, pepper, and salt into a small jar and shake until the sugar has dissolved completely.
11. Pour the dressing over all and toss to coat and mix the ingredients.
12. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the slices almonds (optional) and a few leaves of the cilantro, parsley, and mint.