Category Archives: hazelnuts

couscous variations

Couscous is a great fast food. The variations below are nearly a meal in itself but get yourself some spicy sausage or lamb chops to go with it and you have a great lunch. You can vary the ingredients indefinitely.

Basic couscous

1 cup couscous (precooked)
1 cup strong broth, vegetable or chicken
1 tsp smoky harissa paste or smoked paprika powder (pimento de la vera)
2 tbsp olive oil

Bring the stock to a boil, dissolve the harissa or pimenton, stir in the couscous, cover and let sit for 10 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir to break up, add the olive oil.

Fennel, pear and nuts couscous

1/2 fennel bulb
1 pear
100g brown mushrooms or oyster or fresh shiitake
2 cloves of garlic
1 Orange
almonds or hazelnuts
chopped mint, and/or coriander and/or parsley

Toast the hazelnuts in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius, when browned put them in a cloth and rub the skin off. Cut the fennel and mushrooms into strips, cut the garlic into thin slices. Fry the garlic with the mushrooms and fennel, salt. Cut the pear into cubes, juice the orange. Add the orange juice, mushrooms and fennel to the couscous and finally the chopped herbs and pear.

Some yoghurt with roasted and ground coriander and cumin seeds goes well with this.

lemon & pomegranate couscous

1 large pomegranate
1 lemon, juice and zest
chopped mint, and/or coriander and/or parsley

Zest the lemons, blanch the peel a couple of times. Scoop out the pomegranate seeds and remove the white membrane around the seeds. Add the lemon juice to the couscous, then the other ingredients.

roast chicken with saffron, hazelnuts and honey

Ottolenghi’s was one of my favourite places to get food when I lived in London. They put out one of the few ‘celebrity’ cookbooks I have time for.

1 chicken, divided into quarter: breast and wing, leg and thigh
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
generous pinch of saffron strands
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
100g hazelnuts
70g honey
2 tbsp rosewater
2 spring onions, roughly chopped

Mix the chicken and spices, water, lemon juice together and leave at least an hour in the fridge. Preheat oven to 190’C and roast hazelnuts on a tray for up to 10 minutes until lightly browned. Combine with honey and rosewater and mash in a pestle to a chunky paste.
Put chicken and marinade into a generous roasting tray, bake for 35 mins. Spread hazelnut paste over chicken pieces and return to oven for 5-10 minutes.

Garnish with spring onions and serve with rice or couscous.

Source: Ottolenghi Cookbook