Persian-style vegetable casserole is a warming dish that the whole family can enjoy together. Combining carrot, onion and celery together with a whole heap of other freshly prepared vegetables, this casserole is infused with cumin seeds and chilli flakes.
- 200g giant couscous
- 75g craisins
- 3tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 small/ 500g celeriac, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
- 1 large carrots, cut into small chunks
- 2 red onions, roughly chopped
- 2 sticks celery, sliced 1cm thick
- 2tbsp coriander seed, crushed
- 2tsp cumin seed, crushed
- 1/2tsp chilli flakes
- 100g dried apricots, quartered
- pinch saffron (about 1/3 of a 0.4g pack) soaked in 750ml boiling water
- 1tbsp low-salt vegetable stock powder
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
- 200g baby aubergines, halved
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Small bunch of mint, leaves only,
- 30g toasted flaked almonds
Mix the couscous and craisins in a large bowl. Cover with 750ml boiling water, stir, cover and leave for 20 mins. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large heavy-based pan or casserole, add the celeriac and cook for 5 mins, until golden. Transfer to a bowl, add remaining oil to the pan, with the carrot, onion and celery, cook for 5 mins, stirring. Add the dry spices and apricots and cook for a further 2 mins. Mix the saffron water with the stock powder and add to the pan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 mins.
Add the squash and baby aubergines, stir to coat, cover and cook for a further 10 mins. Stir through the lemon juice, season to taste, then scatter over the soaked couscous. Cook over a gentle heat for 5 mins, until piping hot. Serve scattered with a few mint leaves and almonds.
Turn this vegetable casserole into a meat feast by adding leftover meat like chicken or beef into the pot at the last minute to heat through