((*This may be a guess.))
I decided to make this dish for the sole reason that I wanted to cook with giant couscous. I know the recipe calls for fregola, but Ottolenghi says you can use giant couscous instead, so when I saw it on the supermarket shelf, I grabbed it knowing it was destined for this dish.
The other major difference between what Ottolenghi wanted me to do, and what I actually did, is I did not prepare the artichokes myself. Even though he included very helpful directions as to how I could go about doing that, in the end I decided that life was too short and I used the pre-made ones instead. To his credit, he does say that you can do that. (Otherwise, this dish might have wandered into Faff-Olenghi territory.)
It was typical Ottolenghi: delicious and an interesting blend of flavours I wouldn’t have thought of myself. I easily could see this being sold at his deli and taking it away for a pretty yummy lunch.
As it was, we had it on Fish Friday to go along Gwenyth Paltrow’s roasted fish, baked clam style, which is in the regular rotation of our Fish Friday favourites, although this time I used trout rather than sea bass. Everyone at the table gave the entire dinner at thumbs up.
Would I make this again? Most definitely. I don’t know if the giant couscous trend is here to stay, but it certainly is delicious.