Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about fancy cooking and elaborate meals. If pasta making sounds too stressful, try this cozy one-pot stew that’s perfect for two. (With maybe a little leftover, if you eat less than we do).
It doesn’t get much easier than this – sauté leeks and mushrooms in an oven-safe pot or this adorable heart shaped one. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, couscous and – the fancy part – a few pinches of saffron. Yes, saffron is expensive but a little goes a long way. Plus, it’s Valentine’s Day so let’s live a little.
Pop it in the oven and bake until the couscous has absorbed most of the water, then stir in a few handfuls of spinach. The heat of the stew will wilt the spinach. Enjoy with crusty bread and a good spanish red wine.
saffron couscous & spinach stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- about 1 cup sliced leeks
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1.5 cups chopped mushrooms
- splash of sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 14 oz. can tomatoes
- (up to) 14 oz. water
- a few generous pinches of saffron
- ½ - 1 teaspoon paprika (smoked or sweet)
- ½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained
- ½ cup uncooked Israeli couscous
- a few big handfuls of spinach
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium oven-proof pot, sauté leeks with salt and pepper. Once they're translucent, add garlic, mushrooms, and more salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft. Add a splash of sherry vinegar and stir.
- Add tomatoes, saffron, smoked paprika, chickpeas and couscous. Fill your empty 14 oz. tomato can with water and add most of it to the pan. Stir, cover and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the stew is thick and the couscous is cooked. Remove from the oven and stir in the spinach until it's wilted and incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings and serve.
Or use a larger dutch oven and double the recipe.
Products in this post: Staub Heart Cocotte
I love this! Especially that it’s already portioned for two. And that it’s using couscous — we’re on a couscous kick lately! Pinned 🙂
I love this! That Le Creuset Heart Cocotte is so cute!
I’m allergic to cous cous, would you recommend using rice as a substitute, or something else?
I appreciate your work. Sure, I will try it on this valentine day for someone 🙂
LOVE this <3
Can this be made without the saffron?
yes, but you’ll want to add some other spices to taste
this looks amazing! have to give it try. 🙂
Sounds like a delicious meal. This is one I would enjoy very much. xo Catherine
This sounds so good! I’ve never baked Israeli couscous like this — it’s a really interesting idea.
This sounds so cozy and yummy and oh my goodness that heart shaped pot! <3
I love that you used Israeli couscous in this recipe, it has the most incredible texture!
What a fabulous cooking pot!
I wonder if I could use kale intead…
yep, you could! It’ll take just a little longer to wilt down than spinach 🙂
This dish is so romantic and colorful while being healthy and full of good for you ingredients!
This looks heavenly.
Oh I love this! “Stew for two”! How cute and sweet! And I love the heart shaped Staub. Perfect for Valentines Day!
thanks Jenn! 🙂
I am such a big fan of couscous but I’ve never put it in a stew or soup before! This looks like such a cozy meal – and easy to make! I have a feeling I’ll end up making this for lunch next week and storing the leftovers in the fridge. Thanks for posting!
Through the Thicket
the leftovers were delicious the next day!
If I’m allergic to chickpeas – is there a substitute you recommend?
You can skip them and/or add in another veggie – I’ve added chopped zucchini to this before.
Looks delicious, and beautiful! What camera did you use to take the pictures? My husband and I do the exact same thing as you do for Valentine’s Day (stay in and take on a cooking project) and I am thinking of taking pictures of the results…
Hi Meggie, we use a Canon 5D Mark II
Wow this looks amazing. Can’t wait to try this. Quick question – Did you use the tiny couscous or pearl couscous? I couldn’t quite tell from the pictures. Thanks!
I used the larger Israeli/pearl couscous (just fixed that in the recipe instruction!).