A lucky number in Jewish heritage, this twist on a classic Sephardic dish from North Africa is packed with seven veggies, each with its own symbolic meaning (and wonderful flavor). It’s a vegetable stew so savory you won’t even care that it’s vegan! It accompanies fluffy couscous for a hearty meal.
Tunisian Couscous With Seven Vegetables
- 1 cup fine couscous
- 3 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 1 small leek
- 1 summer squash or zucchini
- 1 bunch green chard, shredded
- 1 small tomato, diced
- ¼ cup dates or raisins
- 1 large carrot
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper (more if you like spice)
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Trim off the root end of the leek, cut in half longways and rinse well under cold water. Slice the leek, carrot and squash or zucchini into quarter inch-wide half-moons.
- Place a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the carrot and leek, a heavy pinch of salt and five grinds of black pepper, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the leeks start to turn translucent.
- Add the chickpeas, zucchini and chard, along with the turmeric and ginger, and add enough vegetable stock or water to fully cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- While the vegetables are stewing, measure 1 cup of couscous into a small saucepan or other heat-proof vessel with a lid.
- Using a ladle, add 1¼ cups of the cooking liquid from the vegetables to the couscous, then cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Just before serving, use a fork to fluff the couscous, and add the dates or raisins and diced tomato to the vegetable stew.
- Place the couscous in shallow bowls and ladle a healthy serving of the stew on top.