Vegetable Couscous

Source: Joel Levine adapted by Barbara Pistrang (with variations by David Pistrang and the Nob Hill Crew)

1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

2 large leeks, white and pale green parts, minced

8 garlic cloves, chopped

2-1/2 cups vegetable stock

1-1/2 cups butternut squash, cut in 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 cup raisins (or more if desired)

2 zucchini cut in 1/2 inch cubes

3/4 cup cauliflower flowerets

1 tsp. Turmeric

1/2 tsp. Ground ginger

large pinch cayenne pepper

1 can chickpeas (optional)

1 cup chopped seeded plum tomato (fresh or canned)

3/4 cup thawed frozen peas (optional)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1-1/2 cups couscous or Israeli couscous

lemon for garnish

Heat oil in a heavy large pot over low heat. Add leeks and garlic. Cover and cook until leeks are very tender but not brown (5-10 minutes). Add stock and bring to boil. Add turmeric, ginger, cayenne and butternut squash. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add raisins, zucchini and cauliflower. Simmer until all veggies are crisp tender, not mushy (about another 5-10 minutes). Mix in tomatoes, cilantro, chickpeas and/or peas, then add couscous. Give a good stir and remove from heat. Cover and let stand ten minutes, or until couscous has absorbed liquid. Fluff, garnish with lemon slices.

Note: you can use any variety of vegetables you like for this dish. The original recipe called for lima beans instead of cauliflower, and for 1 yellow squash and 1 zucchini instead of 2 zucchini. I have also tried substituting 1 can of chickpeas for the cauliflower. As long as the total number of cups of vegetables remains approximately the same, you can use whatever you like.

Variations by David Pistrang and the Nob Hill Crew

substitute 1 can of chickpeas for the cauliflower

substitute Israeli couscous for the couscous

cilantro is optional in this verion