Harissa—the North African chile paste that gives this vegetarian dinner its heat—varies greatly from brand to brand. Taste it before you add the vegetables to the marinade, and add more if it strikes you as too tame. For a richer dish, make a fast sauce with mayonnaise whisked with harissa, lemon juice and water and drizzle it over the vegetables and couscous just before serving.
Slideshows: North African Dishes
2 tablespoons harissa
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup water
1/2 pound small carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise, cut into 2-inch
1/2 pound small parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise, cut into 2-inch
1 small fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds small new potatoes, quartered
Freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup couscous
1 tablespoon currants
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
How to Make It
Step 1 Prepare the Roasted Vegetables
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven so it preheats at the same time.
Step 2 Prepare the Roasted Vegetables
In a large bowl, whisk the harissa with the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, lemon zest and water. Add the carrots, parsnips, fennel and potatoes and toss to coat the vegetables in the harissa marinade and season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on the hot baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the root vegetables are browned.
Step 3 Meanwhile, Make the Couscous
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous and currants. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and fold in almonds and cilantro. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the roasted vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Tip: Add rinsed chickpeas and shredded greens for a next-day wrap or salad. Tip: This marinade is also terrific for grilled boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Tip: Chop any leftover roasted vegetables and fold them into beaten eggs for a savory breakfast scramble. One serving: 411 cal, 10 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 72 gm carb, 8 gm fiber, 10 gm protein.
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