Couscous with Roasted Vegetables and Manakeesh

Life’s a bit hectic so this will be a short post. We had couscous with roasted vegetables for lunch today and manakeesh or pita with za’tar. A friend of mine who grew up in Kuwait introduced me to manakeesh almost 15 years ago and I’ve been meaning to make it since then. We were in a Middle Eastern restaurant, I think it was Maroush, on Edgeware Road in London. She chatted with the owner in Arabic and asked if he had it on their menu. He didn’t, but he was so thrilled with this Indian girl that he went off and made us a feast. I don’t remember the other food he made, but this has stuck. I was planning to make the pitas as well but that’ll have to be another time. I had some in the freezer and used those.

Couscous with Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

200 grams couscous

500 ml vegetable stock

½ a zucchini, sliced diagonally

½ a red pepper, cut into strips

½ a yellow pepper, cut into strips

2 small eggplants, sliced

1 large onion, sliced into wedges

few sprigs of thyme

olive oil

¼ cup flat leaf parsley

3-4 leaves of basil handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

2 limes, the zest and the juice

4 dried apricots, chop into large pieces

Method

Turn on the grill.

Put the couscous in to a bowl and add the lemon zest. Pour in hot stock and stir. Cover with foil, plastic wrap or a cloth. Leave it to absorb the liquid for 15 minutes.

Strip the thyme leaves and mix with ¼ cup of olive oil. Brush over the vegetables.

Grill the vegetables, turning over half way, till they start going a light brown. Remove and leave aside to cool.

Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Add the vegetables, lime juice, chopped up basil and parsley, tomatoes and apricots. Add salt to taste. Mix using a fork and serve.

Manakeesh

Ingredients and Method

4 pitas

Mix together-

1 tablespoon of za’tar

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

or

2 teaspoons of dried thyme

¼ teaspoon sumac

2 teaspoons of sesame seeds

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

till it looks like an oily sludge. Spread on the pita and put under the grill for 5-10 minutes, till the pita is golden.

Delicious

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