Friday, 27 December 2013

Mediterranean Vegetables with Couscous and Harissa Yoghurt

I thought after a diet of Christmas Cookie Balls, Mince Pies, Christmas Rocky Road, Gingerbread Cupcakes and Frozen Passionfruit Pavlova it might be time for me to put on  my "adult hat" and eat something that didn't involve chocolate, cream, Oreos, pastry or sprinkles... My family did have to drag me off the Slip'n Slide so I could make it, however!

Mediterranean Vegetables with Couscous and Harissa Yoghurt
inspired by Yottam Ottolenghi's Plenty
Serves 4

For the Vegetables:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, large dice
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, large dice
300g pumpkin, peeled and cut into large dice
1 zucchini, large dice
1 medium eggplant , large dice
1 small potato, large dice
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Sea slat flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water
Coriander leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

For the Harissa Yoghurt:
1 cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 - 2 teaspoons harissa
Squeeze lemon juice

For the Couscous:
1 cup couscous
2 cups boiling water
Sea slat flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Make the Vegetables:
Pour the oil into a large pan and heat on medium. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and capsicum and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, zucchini and eggplant and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the potato, tomatoes, agave, tomato paste and season well. Add the water and cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

Pour the vegetables into a large roasting so that the vegetables form one layer (not too deep), and bake for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are super soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Make the Couscous:
Put the couscous into a 1 litre bowl. Pour the boiling water over and add the seasonings and oil. Cover with cling film and leave to 8-10 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

Make the Harissa Yoghurt:
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine.

To Serve:
Put a spoonful of couscous onto four plates. Make a well in the middle and spoon the vegetables into the well. Top with harissa yoghurt, pine nuts and coriander leaves.


  1. Perfect post-Christmas dish! Love all those gorgeous colors.

    1. Thanks Marie. I really did need a big shot of colourful veggies to give me a post-Christmas lift.

  2. Full of veggies and so much flavours, the best of both worlds! Your pictures are simply beautiful :)

    1. Thanks Gabrielle. I love a good plate of veggies, especially when they come with comforting couscous and spicy harissa yoghurt.

  3. What an awesome, fresh and Summery dish... love the gorgeously caramelised vegetables with that thick dollop of harissa yoghurt. I have that exact brand of harissa and I am completely addicted to it. I love mixing it into hummus too, sooo good! Happy New year Jen, just a few days to go! x

    1. How good is that harissa Laura? I love the harissa-hummus idea... with toasted pita, yeah baby! The hot weather makes me want to eat lighter food (and drink mojitos).

  4. This looks summery, yet perfect for us folks wallowing in winter too. Love harissa, and yogurt together!

    1. Thanks Maria. It is lovely and light, but still satisfying. I think the colours would brighten up a winters day... and I'm all over the harissa-yoghurt thing.

  5. Beautiful! I'm a sucker for couscous, and am always looking for new ways to cook it. Great choice in veggies, and the pine nuts--Mmm :)

    1. Thanks Kenton. Couscous is so versatile and quick. This is a real "go to" recipe for me.