13-17 FEBRUARY 2022


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Chef Colin Clague

Chef Colin Clague

The former Zuma chef and current executive chef at Ruya, is in the process of teaching his eldest son, who is off to university this year, how to prepare basic meals that are healthy, filling and not too expensive. That includes this vegetable couscous recipe.

As Clague explains: "It’s easy, as you basically pour boiling water on the couscous and the vegetables are just cooked in a flavoured stock. The vegetables can be changed as long as you take their cooking times into consideration and tinned chickpeas are readily available.”

Clague recommends adding lamb cutlets, Merguez sausage or spiced grilled chicken on the side to make it a complete and delicious meal.


Chef Clague's Vegetable Couscous

For the couscous:

500g couscous5g Maldon sea salt | 600ml warm water (or vegetable stock) | 30g unsalted butter, diced 

For the vegetable stew:

2 carrots, peeled and diced | 4 small red onions, quartered | 200g pumpkin, peeled and diced | 1.5 litres vegetable stock | 2 bay leaves |    1 sprig rosemary | 5 garlic cloves, crushed | 20g tomato paste | 1 small aubergine, diced | 1 courgette, diced | 2 baby leeks, diced | 1 can chickpeas | 3 tomatoes quartered | 10g honey | 20g harissa | Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Place the couscous in a roasting tray, add the salt and pour in the warm water or vegetable stock, stir to make sure grains are covered and cover with clingfilm and leave to absorb for 15 minutes.
  • For the vegetable stew, roast the carrots, onions and pumpkin until golden brown, then pour in the vegetable stock. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, garlic and tomato paste and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • After about six to seven minutes, once the vegetables are half cooked, add the aubergine, courgette and baby leek. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are just about cooked.
  • Add the can of chickpeas, tomatoes and honey, and season with harissa.
  • 6. Rake the couscous with a fork to separate the grains, add oil and rub with your fingers to coat and to aerate.
  • 7. Add the diced butter, cover with baking parchment and place in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until hot. To serve, place couscous in a bowl and top with a ladle of the stew.

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