Saturday, December 1, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Stew with Couscous

Today it has been snowing.  Since it is Saturday and I didn't have to go out into it, I didn't mind it so much.  In fact, it was really pretty, and it got me in the mood to make some soup.  I got Rachael and Mom to grocery shop for me since they were going out to lunch anyway, and I ransacked Dad's cookbook collection and found one dedicated to soups: Williams-Sonoma's Soups and Stews.  Dinner tomorrow night will also be coming from this book; there are lots of good options!

Today I was focused on making something vegetarian, since unfortunately I will be making carnivorous foods for my family.  Roasted vegetable stew with couscous caught my attention right away.  I love stew but not so much stew meat, so this was perfect!  It called for all sorts of weird vegetables that obviously were not availabe at the Ghetto Basker Mom shopped at: eggplant and "crookeck squash," for example.  In their places, I used cauliflower, and three kinds of squash: summer, acorn, and sweet dumpling.  For some reason, although this recipe claims to feed 6 people, I ended up with the most ridiculous amount of vegetables needing to be roasted in the same pan!  I don't even have a big roasting pan, so at first I tried piling everything into my biggest lasagna dish, but that made the stirring every 15 minutes impossible, and the veggies were not getting tender at all, so I put half of it into another lasagna dish and waited... and waited... these babies were roasting at 400 degrees for multiple hours when it was supposed to take one!  I swear the recipe was written wrong.... anyway, if you try this one, be sure to cut up everything pretty small; it may say that carrots can be 1 1/2 inches, but go smaller.  Don't halve the brussels sprouts; chop 'em!  Everything else cooked okay, but still took probably 3 hours.

In the end, I made couscous to serve it with, and had enough food to feed an army (and of course, no one was home but me and Mom).  I was nervous that my multiple-hour meal would be a waste of time, but it was really good.  Mom loved it and made me promise I would make it again!  I guess I will, but only if I get a big roasting pan first!  I have to say that I liked all my weird vegetable additions; the squash was Mom's favorite, and the cauliflower was one of the vegetables that actually cooked right!  I do recommend chopping the olives too; as much as I adore kalamatas, they can overpower other flavors if you get a whole one.  The store had no chives either, so I used scallions and it was just fine.  I did end up skipping the parmesan at the end; it wasn't needed.  There was plety of flavor as it was.  And serving it on top of couscous was great because it really soaked up all the flavors.  If you are interested in trying this dish, come on over.  We have enough to feed a small country!


roasted vegetable stew with couscous

from Williams-Sonoma: Soups and Stews\

8 carrots, peeled
1 eggplant, peeled (you could also use 1 head of cauliflower)
4 yellow crookneck squash (whatever that is... use summer, acorn, sweet dumpling, all, none, etc.)
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and finely chopped
1/2 pound baby brussels sprouts, halved (I recommend quartering)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used both because it's what I had)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
salt and ground pepper
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, peeled and diced (I didn't peel it)
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted (and chopped)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tabelspoons finely chopped fresh chives (or scallions)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked couscous


1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2) Cut the carrots, eggplant, and squash into 1 1/2 inch pieces (or smaller!!!).  In a large roasting pan, combine the carrots, eggplant, squash, leeks, and brussels sprouts.  Pour in the olive oil and 1 cup of the stock.  Add thyme and salt and pepper to taste and mix well to coat all the vegetable evenly.

3) Roast for 30 minutes, stirring the vegetables occasionally.  Add another 1 cup stock, the garlic, and tomato to the pan and continue roasting, stirring every 15 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes (or 3 hours if you're me...)

4) Pit (and chop) the kalamata olives.  Add the remaining 2 cups stock, chickpeas, olives, parsley, chives, and basil to the pan and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, and return to the oven for 5 minutes more.

5) Spoon the vegetables into a largve serving bowl, garnish with the cheese, and serve each portion on a bed of couscous.

No comments:

Post a Comment