Sephardic Recipes With A Modern Twist

Sephardic Spice Girls

Couscous

Vegetable Couscous

Recipe

Couscous represents happiness and abundance, prosperity and blessing. Everything we could ask for in the New Year!
Recipe-Vegetable Couscous
17 oz couscous (substitute quinoa for gluten free option)
(Revoire & Carret, my favorite brand)
Vegetables-
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp tumeric
1 medium sweet onion
4 medium zucchini, cut into sticks
3 large carrots peeled, cut into two inch sticks
1 small green cabbage, cut into quarters leaving bottom intact
1 turnip, peeled and quartered
2 celery stalks cut into two inch sticks
1 large quince, peeled and quartered
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 4 large strips
2 leeks, cut into four

Sweet onions and raisins (Tfaya)-
2 pounds onions, mixed yellow and red , thinly sliced
1 cup golden raisins
1 Tsp cinnamon
4 Tablespoons honey or sugar
Roasted butternut squash-
1-2 butternut squash or pumpkin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Toppings:
1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas (or substitute with 13 ounce can of chickpeas, drained)
1 cup peeled blanched whole almonds
½ cup oil for fryinig
Salt and pepper to taste Serves 6-8

Vegetables:
In a large pot boil 6 to 8 cups of water with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper and turmeric Add vegetables in order: Onion, leeks, carrots, celery, turnip and quince and cook for 10 minutes Then add zucchini and bell pepper and cook for another 10 minutes
Remove the vegetables from the broth and set aside
To prepare couscous:

  1. Place couscous in a fine strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear
  2. Place couscous on a sheet pan and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt, let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Add about ¼ cup of olive oil to the couscous and run your fingers through the grains and break up any lumps.
  4. Using a couscousier (special couscous double boiler) or a simple double boiler fill the pot with vegetable stock (prepared at home or store bought) half way up the pot.
  5. Place a piece of cheese cloth inside steamer so the grains will not fall into the broth, once steam starts to rise up, add couscous, cover the pot and steam for 15 minutes.
  6. Pour out the couscous onto a baking sheet, add a few ladles of the broth to the couscous and break up any clumps with your hands.
  7. Put the couscous back into the steamer and steam a second time, another 15 minutes, if steam is escaping through the sides of the steamer, wrap a kitchen towel or more cheesecloth around it. ( I used a clip to hold the towel closed)
  8. Repeat the process ,pour couscous onto sheet and add a few ladles of broth and separate the clumps.
  9. Typically a third steaming is done just before serving, I have been known to skip it to save time, but the third does make the couscous magical. Because the couscous will have expanded so much at this point, its best to steam in two parts.

Caramelized onions and golden raisins- (Tfaya)
In a large pan, warm oil, add onions and cook slowly until golden, 30-40 minutes
Add soaked raisins, honey and cinnamon and cook another 10 minutes at medium heat.

Roasted Butternut Squash-
Peel and seed the squash, cut into half-moon slices
Place on a cookie sheet and toss with oil
Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake in a 400 degree preheated oven until golden.
Serve on a plater with some of the Tfaya (onions & raisins on top)

Fried Garbanzos and Almonds:
Heat oil fry almonds first, place on paper towel
Fry garbanzos and place on paper towels.
Reheat in oven before serving.

Assemble Couscous:
platter with Vegetables
Platter with Couscous, decorate with fried garbanzos and fried almond
platter with butternut squash and Tfaya
bowl with broth

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.