Monday, January 21, 2013

Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Squash

Surprise dinner guests led to an emergency side dish. After staring at the squash on the counter for entirely too long, I stumbled across this gem of a recipe. It's a little on the sweet side and I think the recipe lies about how long it takes to caramelize onions, but this dish worked. Be warned though. It saws it serves 4, but I served it to 4 and we're still eating leftovers.

One year ago: Maple Blueberry Tea Cake with Maple Glaze
Two years ago: Cook's Illustrated Chili
Three years ago: Scrambled Eggs with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Cheese

Couscous with Dried Apricots and Butternut Squash (from Ottolenghi)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 tbsp olive oil, divided
50g dried apricots
1 small butternut squash (450g), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2 cm dice
250g couscous
400ml chicken or vegetable stock
pinch of saffron
3 tbsp chopped tarragon
3 tbsp chopped mint
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
grated zest of 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Place onion in large frying pan with 2 tbsp of oil and pinch of salt. Saute over high heat, stirring until golden, 10 minutes or more.
3. Meanwhile, pour enough hot water over apricots to cover them. Soak for 5 minutes, drain, and cut into 5 mm dice.
4. Mix diced squash with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on baking tray and bake for 25 minutes or until quite soft.
5. Bring stock to boil with saffron. Place couscous in large bowl and pour boiling stock on top plus 3 tbsp olive oil. Cover with saran wrap and leave for 10 minutes until water is absorbed.
6. Use a fork to fluff couscous. Add onion, squash, apricots, herbs, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Serve warm or cold.

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