Braised Rutabaga and Fennel with Couscous, Orange, Chili and Turmeric

Adapted from Anna Jones


1 cup pearl couscous
1 large rutabaga (can substitute with celery root or other root vegetables - about 2 pounds)
1 large or two small fennel bulbs
4 carrots
6 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, juiced
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp pul biber (Turkish flaked chilli), or 1 pinch other dried red chilli flakes
1 tsp ground turmeric, or fresh, peeled and grated
1 small bunch parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 can of butter beans or other white beans, drained (or 1.5 - 2 cups of homemade beans)


First put the couscous in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak while you prepare other ingredients. Peel the rutabaga and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut the fennel bulb into thin wedges and finely slice the stems, reserving the feathery fronds. Peel and cut the carrots into coins.

Heat half the oil in a heavy-based casserole, then sweat the rutabaga, carrot and fennel for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften and pick up a little color. Add the cayenne, cumin, the juice from the lemon and orange, a good pinch of salt and 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a simmer, cover, turn the heat to low and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make a dressing by mixing the rest of the oil in a small bowl with the lemon zest, then stir in the pul biber, turmeric and parsley.

Once the vegetables have been cooking for 30 minutes, they should be soft, with a decent amount of thick, soupy broth; if the stew looks low on liquid, add more hot water, because the couscous will absorb a lot of liquid.

Drain the couscous and stir into the pot with the beans, put the lid back on and cook for 10 minutes more until the couscous has fluffed up and softened. Season to taste and serve hot, with a drizzle of the dressing to finish.