Quick and Easy

Spring Vegetable Couscous with Esplette Pepper

April 22, 2014

Every week, Caroline Wright creates simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: A hearty couscous stew with a spring in its step. 

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Just because spring vegetables have begun to bloom doesn’t mean that sweater (and stew) weather is over. On those transitional days between the full change of season, I crave dishes like this -- something filling and warm, but still celebrating the produce that’s just arrived. Here, radishes, carrots, and lima beans are stewed in a spicy tomato sauce as couscous bakes in an oven that warms your kitchen.

Spring Vegetable Couscous with Esplette Pepper

Serves 4

1 cup couscous?
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided?
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground esplette pepper or other ground chile powder?
1 teaspoon paprika ?
6 small, thin carrots (from a bunch), peeled and halved lengthwise
1 cup frozen fava or lima beans?
1 bunch (about 8) radishes, trimmed and halved?
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes?

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 


As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that was published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photo by Caroline Wright

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • marymary
  • lyjpm
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.


marymary May 23, 2014
At first glance, I almost passed over this dish and the Bruschetta. After reading the ingredients and thinking about the flavors, I'm going to make them all, starting with the Fresh Pea and Salami Bruschetta using homemade salami from my nephew for Memorial Day. I love the simplicity of using most items I have on hand and trying a couple of new in ways I never thought of before. Great series. I look forward to more from Caroline. Thanks for encouraging me to be more adventurous with my taste buds.
lyjpm April 23, 2014
I'm very sorry Caroline but I don't think in 50 years of cooking, I've ever seen a list of less appealing recipes.