Beetroot couscous

KELLY SEALEY, head tutor of Bordeaux Quay’s Cookery School in Bristol, makes a humble (but colourful) root vegetable the star of this winter warmer

"We adore the seasons here at Bordeaux Quay," says Kelly, "and we see each season as a new challenge. This is my take on an Ottolenghi ultimate winter couscous. He uses pumpkin, but I like to use beetroot as the star and include whatever root is in season that I can find – it might be a carrot or parsnip lying around and needing to be used up."

It might seem like a long list of ingredients, but the method of cooking is pretty simple, and the end result is hearty and healthy, so just perfect for those January blues.

The curriculum for 2014 at the cookery school includes a class on Middle Eastern cookery with Bath spice queen Emma Grazette, an Italian workshop with our chef proprietor at Bordeaux Quay, Alex Murray, and a special Moorish Cookery masterclass with me, alongside the usual stable of skill- and cuisine-based courses at the school, covering a range of timescales and pricing structures. Visit the website for more details.

Yields4 Servings
 300g diced root vegetable (e.g carrots and parsnips) 2 cinnamon stick 4 star anise 3 bay leaves 5 tbsp olive oil 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger 1⁄4 tsp ground turmeric 1⁄4 tsp hot paprika 1⁄4 tsp chilli flakes 300g beetroot (salt baked, cubed) 75g dates (roughly chopped) 200g chick peas ((tinned or freshly cooked) 300ml) 70g couscous 20g, butter (chopped into cubes) 25g harissa (or chipotle) 25g preserved lemon peel (finely chopped) 8 shallots (peeled) 30g c coriander
1

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Place the carrots, parsnips and shallots in a large ovenproof dish. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaves, 4 tbsp of the oil, and all the other spices and 3⁄4 tsp salt and mix well. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

2

Add the beetroot, stir and return to the oven. Continue cooking for about 35 minutes, by which time the vegetables should have softened while retaining a bite.

3

Now add the dried dates and the chickpeas with their cooking liquid and/or water. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until hot.

4

About 15 minutes before the vegetables are ready, in a large heatproof bowl add the couscous with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and another 1⁄2 tsp salt.

5

Pour the boiling stock over the couscous. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for about 10 minutes.

6

Add the butter and fluff up the couscous with a fork until the butter melts in. Cover again and leave somewhere warm.

7

To serve, spoon the couscous into a deep plate or bowl. Stir the harissa and preserved lemon into the vegetables; taste and add salt, if needed. Spoon the vegetables on to the centre of the couscous. Finish with plenty of coriander leaves. 

CategoryCuisine

Ingredients

 300g diced root vegetable (e.g carrots and parsnips) 2 cinnamon stick 4 star anise 3 bay leaves 5 tbsp olive oil 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger 1⁄4 tsp ground turmeric 1⁄4 tsp hot paprika 1⁄4 tsp chilli flakes 300g beetroot (salt baked, cubed) 75g dates (roughly chopped) 200g chick peas ((tinned or freshly cooked) 300ml) 70g couscous 20g, butter (chopped into cubes) 25g harissa (or chipotle) 25g preserved lemon peel (finely chopped) 8 shallots (peeled) 30g c coriander

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Place the carrots, parsnips and shallots in a large ovenproof dish. Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaves, 4 tbsp of the oil, and all the other spices and 3⁄4 tsp salt and mix well. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

2

Add the beetroot, stir and return to the oven. Continue cooking for about 35 minutes, by which time the vegetables should have softened while retaining a bite.

3

Now add the dried dates and the chickpeas with their cooking liquid and/or water. Return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until hot.

4

About 15 minutes before the vegetables are ready, in a large heatproof bowl add the couscous with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and another 1⁄2 tsp salt.

5

Pour the boiling stock over the couscous. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave for about 10 minutes.

6

Add the butter and fluff up the couscous with a fork until the butter melts in. Cover again and leave somewhere warm.

7

To serve, spoon the couscous into a deep plate or bowl. Stir the harissa and preserved lemon into the vegetables; taste and add salt, if needed. Spoon the vegetables on to the centre of the couscous. Finish with plenty of coriander leaves. 

Beetroot couscous