Spring Vegetable Couscous


    Because there are fresh fava beans in this beautiful, light spring couscous, I only use 1 cup of dried beans. The harissa is optional because I don’t like to overpower the sweetness of the spring vegetables. Use it if you want the heat.

    Make the Couscous with Vegetables and Beans template with the following additional ingredients and specifications:

    ¾ pound spring onions, chopped (optional)
    2 large carrots or 4 to 6 smaller young spring carrots, peeled and sliced
    2 large, 4 medium, or 12 baby artichokes, trimmed and cut into wedges (sixths for large artichokes, quarters for medium, and halves for baby
    1 bunch baby turnips, peeled and quartered (omit if baby turnips aren’t available)
    1 generous bunch cilantro, chopped
    2 pounds fava beans, shelled and skinned
    1 tablespoon chopped Preserved Lemon, or more to taste

    1. Use just 1 cup (instead of 1½ cups) of chickpeas or white beans, cooking them in the 2 quarts of water as directed in Step 1.
    2. In Step 2, if spring onions are available, use them instead of the large onion; if not available, use the chopped onion. Add the carrots, artichokes, turnips (if using), and half the cilantro when you add the partially cooked beans and bouquet garni. Continue with the recipe, but omit the tomato paste. If you do not want the spice of the harissa, omit the harissa as well. Simmer the stew until the beans are very tender and the broth aromatic, about 30 minutes.
    3. Shortly before serving, add the fava beans, remaining cilantro, and chopped preserved lemon to the vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes.
    4. Reconstitute and steam the couscous as directed.

    ADVANCE PREPARATION: The stew can be prepared through Step 2 a day ahead. Reheat to a simmer and proceed with the recipe.