Tuesday 15 March 2011


At the end of last week I had a long post ready and waiting to be published on Friday but we all know what happened next.

I didn't, and still don't, have the words but not saying anything was not an option. In the last few days I have watched the news, followed the live blogs on the BBC and The Guardian, donated to the Red Cross and hoped. In the midst of all this I read as bloggers tried to find their words and found myself thinking about a few posts that stayed with me. Namely this from Luisa and this from Celia.

If you're in London on Friday you might want to stop by Cakes for Japan. Buy a cake, donate some money. And there'll be another Cakes for Japan event in Edinburgh on the 26th March.

But for now, if you're in need of quick comfort, something warming, soothing, can I point you toward this? We've made it three times in two weeks. The recipe originally came from Heidi but we borrowed a suggestion from Brian and now carrots, fennel and cumin seeds are firmly established parts of the recipe.

(Adapted from 101 cookbooks)
Serves 2 hungry people

You can replace the vegetables with any quick cooking veg you fancy or add to the list below. We have used savoy cabbage and kale over the last few weeks. Both were good.

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
2 carrots, cut into small chunks
1 litre of stock, we have used both chicken and vegetable
a big pinch of red pepper flakes (I like aleppo)
100g couscous
1 large handful of broccoli florets, cut into small pieces A handful of cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces
4 spring onions, thinly sliced

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and add the fennel and cumin. After 30 seconds add the carrot, stir and add a splash of water to allow the carrots to steam. Cover the pan and leave over a medium-low heat for around 5 minutes. Once the carrots are tender add the stock and the red pepper flakes to the pan and bring to the boil. As soon as the stock is boiling take the pan off the heat, stir in the couscous and leave for two minutes. Next stir in the broccoli, cauliflower and any other vegetables you are using and leave for two minutes, just long enough for the vegetables to stay crunchy but lose their rawness. Ladle into waiting bowls and serve with spring onions scattered on top.


Anonymous said...

need to get in the habit of making this one again. it's so good! i used to quick-roast the veg with salt, pepper, olive oil (if i have 20 minutes and not just 10) and that's really nice, too.

Emily said...

yummy! I will have to try this. Just found your blog, I like it!