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The hallmark of a good cook is resourcefulness. It's easy to cook with fancy ingredients, but to make something really delicious out of basic ingredients takes thought and imagination. This makes a great side dish, or even a vegetarian main.
Couscous with Roasted Vegetables
2 red onions, peeled 3 medium beetroots, peeled, or 10-12 baby beetroots, scrubbed 200g pumpkin, skin and seeds removed 6 small or 3 medium carrots, peeled 2 kumara or other sweet potato, peeled (optional) 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp maple syrup or golden syrup or honey salt and ground black pepper 2 cups couscous finely grated zest of 1 lemon 1 tsp salt 2 cups boiling water ½ packed cup mint leaves (about 50 leaves), chopped or torn ¼ cup lemon juice ½ cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped
© Annabel Langbein Media
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Halve the onions lengthwise and cut into 2cm wedges. Cut the medium beetroot into 2cm chunks or the baby beets into quarters. Cut the pumpkin, carrots and kumara or sweet potato, if using, into 2cm chunks.
Place the prepared vegetables in a very large roasting dish or two and spread out to a single layer. Drizzle with oil and maple syrup or golden syrup or honey and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and starting to caramelise.
In a large bowl, mix the couscous, lemon zest, salt and boiling water. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes, then fluff up with a fork.
Add the roasted vegetables, mint and lemon juice to the couscous and toss gently to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped pistachios.