Moroccan Carrots and Couscous

Ginger, mint, and fennel seeds make this a highly flavorful and aromatic dish. If you'd like to add a touch of sweetness, then toss in some golden raisins or drizzle the servings with a little honey.

Makes 2 main or 4 side servings

1 pound carrots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced on the diagonal
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt, to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (about half a small lemon)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1/2 cup dry couscous
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons pine nuts
a generous sprinkling of salt
6-8 large mint leaves, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place sliced carrots in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk 2 teaspoons olive oil, cayenne pepper, and salt; pour over carrots and toss until coated. Place carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until carrots are tender yet crisp and have a few brown spots.

In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, and ginger; set aside.

In a small dry skillet over medium, toast fennel seeds and pine nuts for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly golden and aromatic; set aside.

Place couscous and water in a microwavable bowl; cook on high for 1 minute. Rest on counter top for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Stir in toasted fennel seeds and pine nuts, and season with salt. Stir in mint.

Place couscous in a serving bowl, top with roasted carrots, and drizzle with the lemon-olive oil dressing. Season to taste with salt, and garnish with additional mint, if desired.