[Photographs: Yasmin Fahr]

I believe the Microplane is one of the greatest cooking inventions (obviously on a small scale) because this little apparatus is incredibly useful for quick kitchen shortcuts. Since being taught this trick by a favorite cookbook author, I almost exclusively prep my garlic with a Microplane. Avoiding smelly fingers and shrinking down on prep time, I grate the garlic directly into salad dressings, marinades, or sauces, like in this recipe here.

Use fresh plum tomatoes and don't worry about removing the skins before cooking them. For me, the skins aren't a problem—I love everything about tomatoes and even eat them like apples—but if the skins bother you, go ahead and blanch them and remove them. If tomatoes aren't in season, then a 28-ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes should work.

Turmeric and some other spices used in this dish are notably Moroccan, and, while in Morocco it's typical to serve the couscous alongside the stew or sauce, I chose to stir it all together to keep in line with this quick and easy dinners column—and it turned out great. The couscous had a chance to absorb the extra sauce and flavor.

About the author: Yasmin Fahr is a food lover, writer, and cook. Follow her @yasminfahr for more updates on her eating adventures and discoveries, which will most likely include tomatoes. And probably feta. Happy eating!

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