To continue on from the Vegessential Beetroot Series, we’re now taking our focus over to the fruit — to the apricot to be exact. We’ve chosen the humble apricot because despite it’s cutesy, small, plump exterior, the apricot is humble, packing a huge amount of — commonly unknown — nutritional punch. While people are always raving about how good goji berries and kale are for you, we’re celebrating the overlooked babe that is the apricot.
High in antioxidants and phytonutrients (compounds found in plants that help to protect them, and protect us when we eat them), apricots supply carotenoid and phytonutrients that increase the production of antioxidants. With ridiculous amounts of Vitamin A, they’re especially good for skin, strengthening the nerves to your eyes and keeping them bright, shiny and healthy.
Apricots contain a special kind of iron — it’s called non-heme — and because it stays around in your body a bit longer it is absorbed slower and more efficiently. So, basically, apricots give you more iron for you money, whilst also containing high levels of Vitamin C and generous amounts of fibre. They look pretty and as you’ll see through this new series, they can party as well with savoury as they can with sweet.
We’ve decided to team up the juicy apricot with giant cous cous, vegetables, fruits and seeds; a light but filling dish, that provides the perfect supper for the summer to autumn turn.
400g of giant cous cous
A generous grab of chard & spinach (chard which came from Katie’s Mum’s vegetable patch – thanks, Mum!)
Around 6 large green beans (again – thanks, Mum!)
6 plump Mejool dates
Small handful of almonds
Rose harissa & *optional* soy yogurt optional to serve
Slice your apricots into halves & set aside (remove the stone while doing that)
Wash your leaves and also set aside
Get a griddling or frying pan and fill to a very shallow level with water, then place on the stove at a high heat — once warmed, add the apricots and almonds (we like to almost soak the almonds in the pan mix, as it gives them a crunchier end finish)
While that warms, put your cous cous into water until simmering (set aside once done)
Use this opportunity to steam your greens
As everything simmers away, pitt and finely slice your dates
Drain your cous cous and plate up
Pile on steamed greens, the griddled apricots, then sprinkle with the almonds and dates. We served with a mix of soy yoghurt and rose harissa, just mixing it in as and when – lemon juice or a drizzle of tahini would work just as well.
Recipe: Paris Bielby & Katie Taylor | Images: Katie Taylor