Moroccan Style Summer Vegetables with Lemon Couscous

Once you prep the veggies, this dish is a breeze to cook! The zesty couscous is ready in minutes while the spiced stove-top tagine bubbles away. This recipe comes to us from our friends at Fresh Routes, a recipe kit service in New York City. Local to NYC? Check out Fresh Routes‘ pop up shop in the Union Square subway station and pick up everything you need to cook!

Food for Thought: Ras el hanout is a spice mixture that originates in North Africa. The name means “head of the shop” and traditionally, each shopkeeper used their own unique blend of their best spices in the mixture. Although each recipe for ras el hanout is different, it often contains coriander, cinnamon, anise, ginger, nutmeg  and pepper. Can’t find it in your store? Whip up your own blend using the best spices you have on hand in your kitchen!

Cooking Tip of the Week: When squeezing lemons for their juice, hold them cut side up. That way, the juice will fall through your hands but the seeds won’t fall into the bowl!

Family Dinner Conversation Starter: If had your own store, what kind of merchandise would you sell? What would be the name of your shop?

Together: Peel & slice the shallot into thin rounds (about 1/8” thick).

Together: Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans thoroughly until the water runs clear without foam. Rinse the cauliflower florets. Wash and peel the carrots, & cut into quarter-sized rounds. Wash the green beans and cut in half.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a stockpot over medium heat with 1 shallot slice. When the shallot is sizzling, add the rest & cook until slightly soft (about 2 minutes). Add 4 teaspoons of ras el hanout & stir.

Together: Add in the garbanzo beans, cauliflower, carrots, green beans & broth. Cook until the liquid boils and lower to medium-low heat so that it simmers briskly (bubbling, but not as vigorous as a boil).

While the liquid starts to boil, rinse & shake dry the cilantro. Pick off the leaves and chop into tiny pieces.

Together: Prepare the lemon zest by washing & peeling the skin. Cut the skin into tiny pieces.

Together: Once the liquid is simmering, add the tomato sauce, raisins, half the cilantro, half the lemon zest & salt (about 1 teaspoon). Cover the stockpot & cook until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork (about 20 minutes).

In a small pot, heat 1.25 cups of water, the remaining lemon zest, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt (about ¼ teaspoon) until it boils. Pour the dry couscous into a mixing bowl. When the water boils, pour it over the couscous, stir to fully combine, & cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap for 5 minutes.

Together: Check the cauliflower. When it’s done, add the juice of the lemon. Taste & add more salt and ras el hanout if needed.

Together: To serve: Fluff the couscous with a fork. Spoon couscous into a bowl & top with the vegetables & flavorful broth. Top with remaining cilantro leaves and hot sauce to taste.

Optional: To add additional heat, break out that packet of red pepper flakes & sprinkle to taste.

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