Risotto is a dish which requires loads of efforts and the first time I made it , I was almost ready to give up halfway through. My arms were aching from the constant stirring and it seemed like futile efforts since the rice showed little progress. But the product after an hour of stirring and pouring was just so amazing. I was craving for some risotto today but given the tight schedule I had , it was impossible to find time to make it. I gathered what I had in my kitchen and created my very own version of couscous with a risotto texture and taste. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
1 zucchini ( cubed )
1 eggplant ( cubed )
1/2 red bell pepper ( sliced )
1/2 cup wheat pearl couscous ( washed and rinsed )
1/2 chicken stock
7.5 ounces whole peeled tomatoes ( with sauce to make up around 1/2 cup)
4 cloves garlic ( minced )
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1) Place all the cut vegetables in a large bowl. Add in one tbsp of EVOO ,red wine vinegar and dried spices. Mix till the vegetables are evenly coated.
2) On a lined baking tray, lay the vegetables on the tray. Ensure that each vegetable has sufficient space and there are no overlaps. This helps to ensure that each vegetable will be cooked evenly on all surface. Baked for 15 minutes at 220 degrees.
3) In a heat pot , add in one tbsp on EVOO. Stir in the minced garlic when the oil is heated up. Fry for about 3 minutes before adding in the couscous. Allow to couscous to mix with the garlic and fry for about 3 minutes.
4) Pour in 1/2 tomato sauce and 1/2 chicken stock into the pot. Allow it to simmer.
5) Using a spoon, gently mash the peeled tomatoes and mix it into the pot.
6) Similar as to when cooking risotto, constantly stir the couscous to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The couscous should be ready in about 20 minutes.
7) Add the roasted vegetables to the couscous and mix well.