Roast Vegetable ‘Cous Cous’

Cauliflower was one of those vegetables I hated as a kid. I was all like “but muuuuuuum, I don’t want to eat it! It smells like faaaaaaarts!’ (said in annoying, whiny kid-speak).Cauliflower took my rejection, bided his time, and now, 30 or so years later he is happy with his place as one of my favourite veggies!

He’s just so darn versatile. Rice? He’s got it covered. Puree? Yup. Pie topper? Check! Now cous cous? Cauliflower, you’re a vegetable legend! What are all those other lazy vegetables doing?? You still smell like farts though. Soz…


If you can’t find preserved lemons, use lemon zest of 2 lemons.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Prepare the pumpkin, capsicum and onion, then mix together in a baking tray with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Spread the veg in one layer, sprinkle with some sea salt and pepper and roast for 35 minutes. give the veg a shake 2 or 3 times during the roasting. The pumpkin should be soft not mushy.

While the veg are happily roasting, cut your cauliflower into florets and whizz in a food processor to create cous cous-like pieces. You will probably need to do this in batches. Whizz only for a matter of seconds or else it starts to get a little wet.

Heat a couple more tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot/pan, then add your cauliflower and stir fry for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time.

Add the stock, tomato paste, harissa and spices, stirring well.

When the cauliflower is just cooked (several minutes), remove from the heat.

Stir through the parsley and preserved lemon. Season well.

When the veg has finished roasting, gently fold them through the cous cous.

Gently toast the pine nuts in a dry pan and garnish (warning! don’t take your eyes off those little suckers while toasting!)

Serve warm or cold as a salad/side dish.

Feel free to squeeze over some extra lemon juice for some extra zing.

This recipe makes one giant bowl of cous cous, good for feeding a crowd. If you want less, just halve everything. Duh.


  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin, cubed (around 600 grams)
  • 2 capsicum, cut into 2cm squares
  • 2 red onions, halved and cut into wedges
  • 250 mls stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • small bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • olive oil (for roasting and frying)