Couscous with Dates

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Golden couscous makes a light and healthy lunch, with a spicy, fragrant broth and some simple steamed vegetables.

Ingredients

Couscous

  • 500 g couscous
  • 500 ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter, diced

Vegetables and Broth

  • 2 onions, peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp powdered saffron
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 6 courgettes (zucchini), green and yellow
  • 12 dried apricots
  • 10 moist, dried dates, pitted and sliced

Method

Heat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water on top. Add the olive oil and diced butter, and toss them through with a fork. Cover and place in the oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely slice the onions. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes, sugar, salt, pepper, saffron, paprika, ginger and parsley, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Steam or lightly boil the courgettes, dried apricots and dates for 5 minutes, then drain and thickly slice the courgettes.

Run a fork through the couscous to break up any lumps and season with salt. Pile into warm bowls and top with the courgettes, apricots and dates. Serve, with the hot tomato broth to the side.

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