Grains | Salad | Vegan

Couscous with dried apricots and roasted butternut squash

November 3, 2013

Another Ottolenghi gem. I love this combinations of Fall flavors.

1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 tbsp olive oil, divided
Scant 1/2 cup dried apricots
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch dice
1 1/2 cups uncooked couscous
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
pinch of saffron threads
3 tbsp fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp fresh mint, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Place the onion in a large frying pan with 2 tbsp of the oil and a pinch of salt.
Saute over medium high heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.

Meanwhile, pour enough hot water from the tap over the apricots just enough to cover them. Soak them for about 5 minutes, then drain and cut into 1/4 inch dice.

Mix the diced squash with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread the squash out on a baking sheet, place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until lightly colored and quite soft.

While waiting for the butternut squash, cook the couscous. Bring the stock to a boil with the saffron threads. Place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl and pour the boiling stock over it, plus the remaining 3 tbsp of olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for about 10 minutes; all the liquid should be absorbed.

Use a fork or a whisk to fluff up the couscous, then add the onion, butternut squash, apricots, herbs, cinnamon and lemon juice. Mix well with your hands, trying not to mash the butternut squash.
taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve warmish or cold