Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Back to your roots
This is another one of those dishes that doesn’t really know if its coming or going.... in a good way. By that I mean its got a touch of winter about it with the roasted root veg but the cous cous brings a nice light feeling of spring to it. I am not sure its really a recipe more of a throw-together but I had a busy week last week and I wanted something that was portable but not a sandwich for when I was out and about. It takes a little time in the oven about an hour but there is very little work involved. I doled up the last of it to my impromptu barbeque guests after an afternoon walk and a lot of lounging on Howth Head. They seemed happy enough to munch away on it.
Couscous and feta with herb roasted root vegetables.
For roasted veg
1 packet of vacuum packed beetroot - cut in half or quarters ( can use fresh , mine haven’t grown yet)
3 parsnips peeled - cut into wedges
4 carrots peeled - cut into wedges
2 sweet potato, peeled - cut into wedges / Some new potatoes cut in half
1 red onion peeled- cut into quarters
4 plum tomatoes cut in half
1 whole head of garlic cut in half ( leave skin on and pop them out after cooking)
A few sprigs of rosemary or thyme chopped - I used thyme from my garden
A glug of olive oil
Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
For cous cous
300g of cous cous
500 ml of stock or water
Zest and juice of a lemon
Good handful of chopped coriander/ parsley/mint ( I had coriander in mine)
Drizzle of olive oil
1/3 - 1/2 packet of feta.
1. Preheat oven to 180C/gas 3
2.Put all the vegetables bar tomatoes into a large roasting tin
3.Pour over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, chopped herbs and slat and pepper and toss all the vegetables around using your hand to ensure they are all coated
4.Put in the oven for 1/2 hour and then add the tomatoes and cook for a further 1/2 an hour. ( If you notice your garlic has got a little too brown, cover it with a little tinfoil.)
5.Meanwhile prepare the couscous by placing in a medium sized bowl and pouring over the salted water or stock. Leave for about 5-8 minutes for grains to absorb the water and soften.
6.Let the couscous cool down a little then rub in a drizzle of olive oil. Use your fingers to rub the cous cous and get rid of most of the lumps
7.Then place the cous cous in an oven proof dish and place it in the oven with the roasted vegetables for about 15 - 20 minutes. This gives you lovely fluffy cous cous with nicely separated grains. ( You don’t have to do this step but I think it is worth it especially as you have the oven already on.)
8.Take the cous cous out of the oven and stir in the lemon zest, chopped coriander, drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and more salt and pepper if needed.
9.Place your roasted vegetables on top and sprinkle all over with feta.
*This is lovely served warm or as a cold salad. If you are going to serve it is as a cold salad, try and remember to take it out of the fridge a little bit before serving as it is much nicer when it has come to room temperature.
** You can roast up these vegetables in the same way without the cous cous to go with your sunday roast chicken, whole red chillies deseeded and butternut squash make nice additions.