Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Couscous With Butternut Squash and Spinach

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I had a difficult time keeping myself from eating this entire dish in one sitting. This was partly because I've been really monitoring my grain intake this week, but mostly because the combination of flavors just reached out and called to me like an overzealous telemarketer with replacement windows. Couscous, roasted butternut squash and fresh baby spinach are lovingly kissed with cumin, curry and citrus to create a wonderful salad that is a meal in itself. I have enjoyed this both cold and at room temperature. It's delicious either way.

Curried Couscous With Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach

1/2 butternut squash
2 TBSP plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cup instant whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 TBSP curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar (I used Splenda)
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
2 green onions, green part only, thinly sliced
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Peel butternut squash and scoop out seeds. We'll only be using half of the squash so if you're not going to roast the entire squash, cover other half with plastic wrap and refrigerate for further use. Dice squash into 3/4" cubes. Place squash into a bowl and drizzle with two tsp of olive oil. Stir to coat. Season with salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir again to evenly coat squash with spices. Place squash on prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in oven for 30-35 minutes, until fork tender, stirring after 15 minutes so squash cooks and browns evenly. Remove from oven and set aside.

Stir the couscous, cranberries, salt, sugar and curry powder together in a heat-proof bowl. Add boiling water and orange juice. Stir well and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for five minutes then uncover and fluff with fork. Stir in the remainder of the olive oil, lemon juice, spinach, green onions and pecans. Gently fold in butternut squash. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.


Moogie said...

Over zealous telemarketer... Thank God for caller ID. This recipe looks great by the way.

Sweet and Savory said...

They look like jewels in the couscous.

I treated myself to a bottle of colorful couscous which is beautiful. That with your "jewels" would be striking.

That said, it is striking, right now and has my favorite foods.

HoneyB said...

LOVE this! Its so pretty. I could make it and not tell Grumpy I was putting curry in it but as soon as I did he would know and refuse to eat it. Still, looks like something that would be great for me to take to lunch or have when Grumpy's not home. (he doesn't like the smell of curry when I use it :(

stephchows said...

oh yum that dish does look like it would be hard to stop eating!

Virginia bed and breakfast | Victorian inn bed and breakfast | Romantic bed and breakfasts said...

Nice post, I LOVE couscous and the addition of cranberries will give it a tart, sweet and chewy touch. I think this is going to be something I am making for every weekend!

Best Regards,

George Gaston said...

Mags, I am like you, I would want to eat the whole dish and nothing else. Love the flavors, texture and the ingredients.

This is definitely a "must-make" recipe. Many thanks...

Linda said...

I would probably eat the whole thing too. It looks very tasty!

Karen said...

I have yet to try couscous. Must do!

Dyan said...

Looks and sounds yummy..might even have to try this one and you know I don't cook! What are you doing to me?

June said...

Looks great Mags. Betcha' it would be yummy with a little cluck in it to, ya think?

All Our Fingers in the Pie said...

Looks beautiful. I'm sure the flavour matches the looks! I love couscous.

lakegirl said...

This dish looks delicious and the pics are amazing!

I need to make a couscous recipe again soon, I've been on a quinoa kick.

Mags said...

Moogie: Telemarketing has to be the worst job ever.

Sweet and savory: Thank you!

HoneyB: That Grumpy sure has a long list of dislikes, doesn't he?

Steph: It was difficult. I finally had to hide it in the fridge!

Virginia: Thanks!

George: Thank you for commenting!

Linda: Moderation can be so difficult, can't it?

Karen: You should try it, it's delicious.

Dyan: Don't kid a kidder, I know you cook!

June: Yeah, I think some chicken would work nicely here and make it an even more filling meal.

All our fingers: Thanks!

lakegirl: Oh, I love quinoa too!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Looks amazing! I recently discovered bulgur wheat, and I bet this would be tasty with bulgur, too!

Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food said...

Great simile. This dish, which is so perfect for fall, is calling my name right now!

Geoff Wilde said...

Any idea the nutritional value of this recipe?