We have just dined on Yotam Ottolenghi’s Ultimate Winter Couscous (Plenty: page 262). Fair enough, it’s just a simple vegetable tagine when all is said and done but, my goodness, it was delicious! The subtle spicing and layers of flavour made this a treat from start to finish.

Although lacking the preserved lemons, I improvised and used the grated rind of a fresh lemon.

We did cheat and add meat – but only because we had already thawed chicken for a planned Biryani today. Yesterday’s planned couscous meal became amalgamated with the chicken today. I coated the baby breast fillets with Harissa paste and oven grilled them alongside the vegetables.

Stunning. We’ll do it again. Perhaps next time with lamb, though plain veggie would do just fine.

The couscous recipe supposedly serves 4. We cooked the whole quantity and ate about two thirds of it between the two of us, with much lip smacking and other noises of enjoyment. I have leftover chickpeas – I’ll make some Hummus with some of them and then throw the remainder in with the veg and blend with stock for a hearty soup.

I may not manage to board the treadmill this evening.

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