Couscous and roasted vegetables

This recipe makes a great, simple main meal or a popular, colourful buffet dish.

Wholemeal couscous (see below for quantities)
A selection of roastable vegetables of different colours, such as:
- red, orange, yellow or green peppers
- courgettes
- butternut squash
- cherry tomatoes
- red onions
- mushrooms
- aubergines
A few tbsps olive oil
Herbs such as basil, rosemary or thyme, or dried mixed herbs
Handful of pine nuts, chickpeas or olives (optional)

For a main meal, allow per person:

80ml or 1/3 cup wholemeal couscous (measure it out in a measuring jug if you don't have a set of cups)
160ml or 2/3 cup water or vegetable stock

For a buffet dish, increase the quantities to make however much you need, using twice the amount of water per amount of couscous (but you won't need to allow that much per person if it's going to be one of many dishes).

Preheat the oven to 220°c. Pour some olive oil into a roasting dish and put in the oven to heat up. In the meantime, chop the vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Add the vegetables and herbs to the roasting dish, make sure the vegetables are well coated in the oil and roast for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Add the pine nuts, chickpeas or olives, if using. (If you're short of time you can fry the vegetables instead, but they taste nicer roasted.)

To cook the couscous, boil the water in a pan, add the couscous, remove from the heat, cover and leave to stand for about five minutes until the couscous has absorbed the water. Stir with a fork and return to the heat for about a minute.

For a main meal, serve the couscous onto a plate, spread the roasted vegetables on top and serve warm. For a buffet dish, mix the couscous and vegetables together (in the roasting dish if you like) and serve warm or cold.