Couscous is an amazing ingredient to serve alongside stews and sauces, acting as the perfect sponge for flavour. But even better, couscous makes for many interesting and delicious dishes in their own right, like this wonderful roasted Moroccan-inspired cauliflower & garlic couscous – a tasty combination of flavour and texture. Learn how to make it…
This Moroccan Couscous With Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic is one of the tastiest side-dishes ever. I say side-dish, it could easily have been a meal in its own right. But, I can't say no to pairing couscous with a sauce, so I usually accompany mine with something like a super-simple-super-delicious Moroccan Kefta Tagine. But even when I don't, this salad is a winner every time!
What is couscous?
Well, in actual fact, couscous is a type of pasta. Durum wheat semolina flour is combined with water and in-turn creates tiny grain sized balls. They look a little like bulghur wheat or quinoa but are not actually a whole grain at all. Couscous is a staple in North Africa and eaten widely in Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. Couscous is often steamed, fresh or dried and rehydrated and easy to find in most supermarkets. Rehydrating couscous is simple and quick, making it one of my favourite, fuss-free staples to serve on the side.
I use a broth or stock to rehydrate the couscous combined with a little ground cumin for a warming spice - use vegetable stock or meat stock - I'll often add a little ghee or butter at this stage too for even more flavour. In Morocco they use a fermented butter called 'smen' in couscous - its funky smell is most like a stinky blue cheese, if you're up for a challenge, make your own smen for the full Moroccan experience.
With or without Smen, the use of stock and butter gets us off to a great start. And when adding the wonderfully earthy roasted cauliflower and garlic, the flavours really start to develop (I also roast a little onion and red pepper too for a hit of sweetness). To counteract the roasted veg, I add fresh, tart tomatoes and then the whole affair is completed with a spritz of lemon and a generous handful of fresh herbs. It leaves us with the most amazing melding of flavours, colours and textures!
The results are fresh, light and fragrant - so simple and effective! You can experiment with whatever ingredients you have around the kitchen - I'll often add cooked green beans, chickpeas, radish, cucumber, roasted carrots or parsnip - the choices are endless. My go-to herbs are parsley, dill, mint and sometimes cilantro. It's a versatile dish that suits so many uses, and always sure to be jam-packed with flavour.
More delicious Moroccan and Mediterranean Recipes
If you like this couscous, why not try one or all of my favourite Moroccan and Mediterranean recipes.
How to make my Moroccan Couscous With Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic