This is one of my favorite travel recipes. A hit at every party it’s served at! Surprisingly I didn’t pick this up in Morocco. The southern coast of Spain is only a twenty minute boat ride from Morocco. That creates a great fusion of cultures in that region. As other culinary trends rise and fall some traditional recipes remain the same. I look forward to this dish every time I go back.
The vegetables are chopped into large pieces so you use them as your cutlery. The cous cous is placed in a large bowl in the center of the table and you all just dig in. Sometimes I serve it that way. I’ve taken that idea one step further and created zucchini spoons. It creates a very memorable experience for your friends and family!
Whenever I have this dish the cous cous itself is not spiced but the chicken, beef or lamb is. To keep this dish vegetarian I have blended the spices into the cous cous stock. It’s easy, inexpensive and leaves a lasting impression! Enjoy!
Moroccan Scented Cous Cous with Zucchini Spoons
(makes 4 main course servings)
2 Cups Cous Cous
4 Cups Vegetable Stock (about a 32 oz. container)
4 Zucchini, 2 diced small, remaining 2 cut in half lengthwise
1 Large carrot, sliced on a diagonal angle
2 Garlic cloves, peeled and diced small
1 Small white onion, diced small
1 Can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
¼ Cup golden raisins, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes then drained
1 Cup whole almonds, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons Moroccan spice mix (store bought, if you would like to make from scratch see “spice” recipe below)
1 Tablespoons Canola oil (or vegetable oil)
Take the 2 halved zucchini slices. With a small melon baller or a tea spoon hollow out the center of each zucchini half. Only remove as far as you see seeds. Taking out too much of the flesh will make the zucchini too soft once cooked.
In a small sauce pan bring vegetable stock with the Moroccan spice mix to a boil. Add cous cous and raisins, cover, remove from heat. After 5 minutes remove lid and fluff with a fork. Cover again to keep warm until needed.
In a large non stick pan add canola oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and sauté for approximately 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, chopped zucchini and garbanzo beans. Sauté until cooked though, about 5 minutes.
On a separate burner, heat a grill pan over high heat until very hot. Brush with a little canola oil.
Place zucchini halves cut side down. Do not move while on grill. Let cook 5-7 minutes. Touch to make sure the outside is still firm but just turning soft. Remove from heat.
Mix cous cous and vegetable mix together.
Divide into 4 bowls. Top with chopped almonds.
Serve with a zucchini spoon.
To make Moroccan Spice Mix:
Mix together a pinch of cracked black pepper, cayenne and crushed cloves with ¼ tsp paprika, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and a ½ tsp of coriander, crushed cardamom, ginger and tumeric. For a little extra bit of luxury add crushed dried rose petals (available in fine specialty food stores and on line).
*For additional protein add grilled chicken breast, firm white fish or grilled prawns.
*To get the shape you see in the photo I molded the cous cous by packing it into a 1 cup measure and turned it over onto the plate. The portion size equals an appetizer portion.
All recipes © Laura Dove