This is gorgeous, simply gorgeous with lamb, pork or chicken skewers, or, as part of an exotic vegetable feast.
1 cup couscous 300ml (just over 10 fl oz) boiling water 1½ Tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, peeled and sliced 2 wedges preserved lemon 2 Tbsp golden raisins, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, drained Few pinches (⅛ tsp) ground cinnamon 1 tsp ground coriander ¼ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp allspice ¼ tsp chilli powder ¼ cup shelled and skinned pistachio nuts 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp regular salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 Tbsp chopped mint ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
1 Put couscous in a china bowl and pour over boiling water. Stir once, then cover with a plate and leave for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork, cover again and cool.
2 Heat olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan (skillet) over medium heat and add onion. Lower the heat as soon as cooking commences, and cook gently for 25-40 minutes, stirring often. If you hurry this process the onion will burn before it is tender, and a harsh flavour will develop. Slow and steady, with regular stirring, is the way to go to produce a good golden colour.
3 Rinse preserved lemon wedges under running water, dislodge pulp and discard, then pat rind dry and slice finely. Add preserved lemon and raisins to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in spices, cook through for 1 minute, then stir in pistachio nuts.
4 Whisk extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper together and pour over couscous. Mix with a fork. Add three-quarters of the spiced onion mixture and fold through with the mint and most of the pomegranate seeds. Pile couscous into a serving bowl and garnish with remaining spiced onion and pomegranate seeds. Serve.