Mushroom, Leek + Zucchini with Spinach Couscous

15 Sep

mushrooms leeks and zucchiniI dont know what it is, but the last couple of days I have been completely enveloped by colour when I cook… Yesterday, I made a green spinach pie, before that a green pasta, and a few days before a bright pink-fuschia raspberry pie. Today, I was also thinking about colour, but I wanted something bright and sunny because all of us were sad to say goodbye to Essia. I came up with a quick and easy meal that tastes amazing – sauteed leeks, mushrooms and zucchini, all tinged yellow with turmeric, and couscous, its sunniness modified by the addition of bright green spinach.

It was a happy meal – and its flavours while mellow, had a slight zing to palate. This combination can easily be made into a vegan dish by the exclusion of the sour cream (or substitution with some soy milk). I was looking for spices and herbs to accent the dark notes of the mushrooms and the roasted sweetness of the leeks – turmeric has an earthy quality, and paprika a mild sweetness. Combined with the tang of basil and the rounded richness of dijon mustard, they added layers of flavour to this meal that elevated it into specialness.

I added a few sliced tomatoes right at the end for their spark of colour and their finishing sweetness. Please do as you wish, though if you do have some beautiful small tomatoes around, they are a summery addition to this perfect stew. I also minced and added about a cup of raw spinach to the couscous. You cant really taste it, but it is so good for you that sliding it into the buttery perfection of couscous is a good idea – getting some raw green vegetables into the system without any fuss or effort at all.

This recipe will serve 4 people

Leek, Mushroom + Zucchini Stew

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (if you want added flavour, add a few drops of your favourite oil to the olive oil base)
  • 3 – 5 cloves of garlic, sliced fine
  • 1 medium leek, chopped
  • 1 small to medium zucchini, halved and sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup pistachios (or cashews or almonds – pistachios just worked in this for me, but go with what you like!)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar or wine
  • 1 cup mushrooms (I used portobello), peeled, sliced and chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 – 3 tbsp sour cream or soy creamer/milk OR about 1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetable stock or wine
  • 1  cup baby roma tomatoes, sliced

In a large, non stick pan, over medium high heat, saute the garlic until just softened. Add the leek, and lower the heat. Sautee for about 5 minutes, or until the leek has turned glossy and softened quite a bit. Add the zucchini and sauté until softened. Add the salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric and basil, and stir well to combine. Scute for another few minutes to enable the spices and herbs to bloom.

Add the pistachios (or other nut) and stir well. Saute for another minute or two. Add the balsamic and allow the mixture to simmer down.

Add the mushrooms, and stir well. Cook for about 3 – 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have let go of their liquid. Add the dijon mustard, and the sour cream (or vegetable stock), and simmer for at least 5 minutes, or until the liquid has bubbled down and reduced to a thick coating over the vegetables.

Take off heat, and add the sliced tomatoes, and mix well. The tomatoes will soften in the heat of the stew, but will not cook down and become mushy.

Taste for seasonings, and adjust.

Set aside while you make the couscous.

Spinach Couscous

  • 10 oz (about 280 g) box of couscous
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup raw baby spinach, minced

In a saucepan, with a tight fitting lid, heat water, butter or olive oil and salt until the water comes to a full boil. Stir in the couscous, and take the saucepan off the heat. Cover with lid, and allow to sit for five minutes.

Mince the spinach very fine.

Remove the lid from the saucepan, and using a fork, fluff the couscous. Add the spinach all at once and mix thoroughly to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

To serve, plate the couscous in a large bowl. Ladle the stew over. Eat and be comforted 🙂

9 Responses to “Mushroom, Leek + Zucchini with Spinach Couscous”

  1. priscilla September 15, 2010 at 2:41 am #

    have to try this one. looks delicious in the photo!

    • delectableblog September 15, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

      Its reallly good, P. And any leftovers are WONDERFUL the next day. After dinner, I used a big spoon and combined everything really well … mixed that stew up into the couscous… and refrigerated the whole thing. We had it as a couscous salad for lunch, cold, with the addition of a few peas. YUMMY.

  2. Nicole Burley, M.Ed. September 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    This is a winner! And – I agree – it was great the next day, too.

    • delectableblog September 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

      So glad you liked it Nicole! And so so happy you cooked it 🙂 Makes me totally wonderfully happy when people like the food, and cook from the recipes … its like a kind of magic 🙂

      • Nicole Burley, M.Ed. September 21, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

        Must be a very cool feeling to know that people are cooking your recipes – but we are! And, just so you know, I have printed out and saved many more than I have cooked so far. Looking forward to trying them all when the time is right! I am new-ish to cooking – only really got interested in the past year (after a honeymoon in Paris – everything changed…) so I am going slow and really enjoying the trial and error! Your recipes are very user-friendly. Thanks!

      • delectableblog September 22, 2010 at 1:46 am #

        Its an amazing and truly empowering feeling, Nicole. This was my passion, and I never really thought to share it with anyone until I was freed to speak my own truth. The response I have received has convinced me that this is where I will find joy in my life. Its so amazing to know that people are cooking from my recipes, trying and tasting and discovering the things I love. You keep me inspired. Thank you so much for your feedback 🙂 xxx P

  3. Tracey August 4, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Thought it was very good, but you had nothing in your instructions about when to add the zuccini 🙂

    • delectableblog February 17, 2014 at 11:03 am #

      Thanks for catching that! I fixed it 🙂


  1. Kind-of-Ratatouille-a-la-Karo « delectable - October 14, 2010

    […] You could serve this kind-of-ratatouille with french bread, rice, pasta – or as I did, with spinach couscous for a lush hint of colour and raw spinach […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: