Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pearl Couscous with Butternut Squash

Pearl couscous (also known as Israeli couscous) is a small round pasta, like regular couscous, but larger. It looks like tapioca. It's nice in salads because it's so small, you can eat it with a spoon (great for kids). Although I haven't met the kid who is interested in a squash, onions, pine nuts and currants combo (at least there aren't any at my house), so you might want to make a separate batch (plain with a little butter and parmesan cheese is always a winner with her royal highness Princess Madeline).

Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
1 large onion, chopped
1 3/4 cups pearl couscous (also called Israeli couscous), about 10 oz.
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup currants or golden raisins
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.      Preheat oven to 475° F.
2.      Toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil and a sprinkling of salt in a large shallow baking pan and spread in 1 layer. Roast in upper third of oven 15 minutes, or until squash is just tender, and transfer to a large bowl.
3.      Cook onion in 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to turn golden. Add to squash.
4.      Cook couscous in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, or until just tender, and drain in a colander (do not rinse). Add couscous to squash/onions and toss with 1 tablespoon oil to coat.
5.      Add lemon juice, parsley, nuts, currants, ground cinnamon, and salt to taste. Toss to mix well. Serve hot or cold.

adapted from Gourmet, September 1999

roasted butternut squash
lightly golden onions
cooked couscous draining


Randi said...

Made this yesterday with brown rice. Yummy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing us to Pearl Couscous - because of your post I bought some whole wheat today and served it with butter, salt & pepper. We both loved it. Much better than some of the whole grains I have tried.

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