I started with a base of couscous, then I roasted the diced squash in the oven so that it caramelized on the outside. I realized that it needed something else to contrast all of the salty flavors, so I figured raisins would be a nice compliment. And what better way to plump them up than with some seasonal apple cider? :)
This recipe would be a great dish to bring to any fall dinner gathering (I brought it to Canadian Thanksgiving), or as a side dish to a main meal. I'm definitely going to make it again, it was delicious!
Butternut Squash with Raisins, Pine Nuts & Couscous
Serves about 5-6
Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1 small butternut squash, seeds removed, peeled & diced
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup water or broth
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice (water mixed with a little bit of sugar will work fine if you have neither)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- olive oil & sea salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread butternut squash on a cookie sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, then mix with hands to coat. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil the 1 cup of water or broth in a pot on the stove. Turn off the heat, add the cup of couscous, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes to cook through. Dump into a large serving dish, and cover to keep warm.
Remove squash from oven, and flip pieces. Return pan to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Put raisins on the stove in a shallow pan with the apple cider over medium heat. The raisins will soak up the juice and get plump. While they are soaking, toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium-high heat. They will burn very quickly so keep an eye on them and toast until golden brown.
Layer raisins on top of the couscous, then check the squash. If they are not slightly brown, put them in the oven for another 10 minutes. If they're good to go, layer them on top of the raisins, and season with a little more sea salt.
Top everything with the toasted pine nuts, and serve!