Joanne Weir Follow @ChefJoanneWeir

Couscous with Seven Vegetables and Caramelized Onions

Couscous with Seven Vegetables and Caramelized Onions

Grab some friends...this makes a lot! You won't believe the amount of flavor you'll have in this vegetarian dish.

Serves 10 to 12



3 tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, sliced
1 tablespoon dry ginger powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon salt
10 cilantro sprigs, tied together
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 pounds couscous
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 carrots, peeled and halved
1 large turnip, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 cabbage, quartered
1 small turban or other winter squash, unpeeled, 2-inch dice
1 1/2-pounds zucchini
2 teaspoons Harissa (chili condiment, found at stores such as Whole Foods)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Caramelized onions
10 small red onions, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup honey


Using a coarse grater, grate the tomatoes into a bowl, discarding the skin.

Place the olive oil in the bottom of a couscousiere over medium heat. Add the onions and the next 7 ingredients along with 12 cups water. Bring to a boil.

In the meantime, put the couscous, 2 teaspoons salt and the vegetable oil on a very large platter or in a large baking sheet. Rub together to coat the couscous with the oil. Separate the grains. Ad 1 cup water and let sit 10 minutes. Rake the grains and separate them so there aren't any lumps. Place the couscous in the top steaming basket of the couscousiere and let it steam uncovered until there is condensation and steam on the sides of the basket, about 20 minutes.

Dump the couscous onto a platter and if it's steamed enough, it should have the same shape as the steamer basket. Combine 1 1/2 cups water and drizzle over the couscous. Rake and separate any clumps. If it is too hot, wait a few minutes.

Add the carrots and turnip to the simmering broth. Put the couscous back into the steaming basket and steam again for 20 minutes.

Dump the couscous onto a platter and once again add water, this time just one cup. Rake and separate the clumps. Put the couscous back into the steamer. Add the cabbage, winter squash and zucchini. Place the couscous steamer onto the top and steam for 20 to 30 minutes.

For the onions, sauté the onions with olive oil, ginger, pepper, turmeric, saffron and cook for 20 minutes. Add the honey and stir together.

To serve, remove 2 cups of the broth from the couscous pot. Add Harissa to taste. Place in a pitcher. In another small pitcher, put two cups of the broth from the pot.

Place the couscous on a large platter and dot with butter. Toss until the butter melts. With a ladle, moisten the couscous with a few kadles of broth. Place the vegetables on the couscous and garnish with the caramelized onions. Serve with the two pitchers of broth.