We have been making Nigel Slater’s tomatoes baked with couscous and harissa all summer long. It’s a great way to use a lot of vegetables, especially if you have a ton of tomatoes in season. We like to add a dollop of Greek yogurt to counter the heat of the harissa. Easy enough to make any night of the week or turn it into a side dish. You can order his cookbook Greenfeast: Spring Summer now.
Nigel says, “It is perfectly fine to use water to plump up your couscous, but I like using stock, in this case vegetable, to add flavor to the bland grain. Pour over enough boiling water to cover the couscous by a good 1 ¼ –1 ½ inches/3–4cm. Covering the bowl with a plate or lid will help it stay hot during the ten minutes or so it takes for the grains to sponge up the liquid. No further heating required.
If time is tight, you could broil the tomatoes and onions, setting the roasting pan a good way from the heat, and turning the vegetables from time to time as they cook.
This also makes a cracking summer salad. Cook as directed, but let the couscous and the tomatoes cool a little before serving. Instead of finishing with mint and parsley, make an herb mixture of chopped basil and finely
grated lemon zest, then toss with toasted, finely crumbed ciabatta and a glug of olive oil.”
TOMATOES, COUSCOUS, HARISSA
- Set the oven at 400ºF/200ºC. Put the tomatoes (red, orange, yellow, green, cherry, etc.) into a roasting pan with the garlic and a little oil. Peel and slice the onion and add it to the tomatoes with a seasoning of salt and black pepper. Roast for twenty-five to thirty minutes until the tomatoes are soft and the skins lightly browned.
- Bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Place the couscous in a heatproof bowl, then pour the boiling stock over, fold in the raisins, cover, and set aside for fifteen minutes. Roughly chop the mint and parsley leaves, discarding the stalks.
- Use a fork to lightly crush the tomatoes so the juices bleed into the pan, then stir in the harissa paste. Toast the sesame seeds for a minute or two in a dry pan till golden. Stir most of the chopped herbs into the couscous with a fork. Serve the roasted tomatoes and their juices on top of the couscous, and sprinkle with the reserved herbs and sesame seeds.
Reprinted with permission from Greenfeast: Spring, Summer by Nigel Slater, copyright © 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.