Food for Friends

Vegetable Couscous (Serves 6)

With Noel. Cheers after a busy Sunday lunch time of window box gardening and fine dining - October 2009

Ingredients: For the bouillon: 1.2 litres vegetable stock, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, cumin and cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne and ground ginger, two pinches saffron strands, 2 - 3 medium potatoes (each peeled and cut into 4 - 6 wedges), 1 small swede, (peeled and cut as the potato), 2 - 3 parsnips (peeled & cut in quarters), 4 carrots peeled (cut into halves or quarters), 4 medium courgettes (cut into halves or quarters) and1 red pepper (de-seeded and cut into eight)
For the couscous: 250g couscous, knob butter, 1 - 2 pinches paprika, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, ground ginger and a tablespoon freshly grated parmesan

1. Make the bouillon by combining the vegetable stock and spices in a large saucepan and bringing to simmering point over a medium heat.

2. Place the couscous in a bowl and pour over half of  bouillon, leave to stand 5 minutes.

3. Add potatoes, swede and parsnips to the remaining bouillon and simmer 15 - 20 minutes. Meanwhile wet a new J - Cloth and line steamer (or large sieve) with the cloth. Place the couscous on the cloth and put over the simmering vegetables, cover and steam 15 minutes.

4. Tip the couscous from steamer onto a platter and carefully work in the butter, spices and parmesan. Now return the flovoured coucous to the steamer. Add the carrots, courgettes and pepper to bouillon to cook for a further 10 minutes.

5. Serve the couscous on a heated plate with strained vegetables around the side. Serve the bouillon in a small jug.