Photo: Rachel Weill; Styling: Dan Becker
Total Time
2 Hours 30 Mins
Serves 6 to 8

Time: 2 1/2 hours. A fragrant, brothy pile of chewy couscous, spicy vegetables, and tangy-sweet onions: Move over, turkey!

How to Make It

Step 1

Make caramelized onions: Put onions in a large frying pan with 1/2 cup water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until softened, about 30 minutes. Remove cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onions are golden. Increase heat to medium-high, add olive oil, and cook, stirring, until deep golden. Meanwhile, soak raisins in hot water 15 minutes; drain.

Step 2

Stir in spices and honey; then stir in raisins and cook, stirring, until nutty brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Step 3

Make couscous and vegetables: Halve carrots and zucchini; cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces. Halve jalapeño (seed it if you want less heat). Peel and quarter turnips. Peel and seed squash; cut into 1-in. chunks.

Step 4

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. salt, the pepper, saffron, cumin, and cinnamon sticks and fry, stirring, 1 minute. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add carrots, turnips, and jalapeño and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Add squash and zucchini and cook, covered, until all vegetables are soft but not falling apart, about 20 minutes.

Step 5

Transfer 2 cups hot stock from vegetable pot to a 4-qt. saucepan. Add 1 cup water and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, stir in couscous, and cook, covered, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Step 6

Transfer 2 cups stock from vegetable pot to a pitcher and stir in harissa to taste.

Step 7

Spread couscous on a platter, making a well in the center. Using a slotted spoon, arrange vegetables, including cinnamon sticks, in the well; discard jalapeño. Scatter onions on top and sprinkle with cilantro. Moisten the couscous with some stock and strain the rest into a second pitcher. Serve couscous and vegetables with the two stocks (plain and spicy) on the side.

Step 8

*Buying cubed butternut squash will save you some time. Harissa's heat level varies wildly depending on the brand, so taste before adding.

Step 9

Make ahead: Up to 1 day. Finish making all five components of the dish—caramelized onions, vegetables, couscous, harissa-spiked stock, and plain stock—and chill separately. Ten minutes before serving, reheat in a microwave and serve as directed.

Step 10

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Wine Country Cooking

Ratings & Reviews

ftcollinsco's Review

February 13, 2015
Flavors were pretty good but know that it's a lot of work, 3 pans, and 90 minutes in the making. The turnips really over powered other veggies, I'd reduce them and add a rutabaga instead. I doubt I'll make it again.

SarahBrackman38's Review

March 17, 2013
Terrible. Bland and certainly not worth the effort.

MrsWhite's Review

January 20, 2009
Good flavors and combination of vegetables. The onions looked a little funky but tasted good - I didn't put the full amount on top of the dish. Also, skipped the harissa since I didn't have any - jalapeno gave it enough heat. The recipe is a bit time-consuming; cut up veggies ahead of time.

Eligia's Review

June 11, 2012

jimanddianne's Review

November 05, 2008
Excellent dinner! Very healthy and easy to make.

panettone's Review

December 27, 2008
This dish is a fair amount of work, but we really liked the flavor and the abundance of veggies.

KarenG05's Review

March 04, 2011
I have made this dish two times. It is a big hit with my family. It is a little time consuming, so it is a weekend recipe for us. Even better the days that follow for leftovers. One of our go-to recipes for years to come!