Thursday, May 15, 2008
Couscous with dried apricots and butternut squash
1 large onion thinly sliced
6tbsp olive oil
50g dried apricots
1 small butternut squash (about 450g), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2cm dice
400ml chicken, or vegetable stock
a pinch of saffron strands
3tbsp roughly chopped tarragon
3tbsp roughly chopped mint
3tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
grated zest of ½ lemon
coarse sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180c. Place the onion in a large frying with 2 tbsp of the oil and a pinch of salt. Saute over a high heat, stirring frequently for about 10 min, until golden brown. Set aside.
Meanwhile, pour enough hot water from the tap over the apricots just to cover them. Soak for 5 min, then drain and cut into 5mm dice.
Mix the diced squash with 1tbsp of the olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Spread the squash out on a baking tray, place in the oven and bake for about 25 min, until lightly coloured and quite soft.
While waiting for the butternut squash, cook the couscous. Bring the stock to the boil with the saffron. Place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl, and pour the boiling stock over it, plus the remaining olive oil. Cover with cling film and leave for about 10 min; all the liquid should have been absorbed.
Use a fork to whisk, or fluff up the couscous, then add the onion, butternut squash, apricots, herbs, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Mix well with your hands trying not to mash the butternut squash. Taste and salt and pepper if necessary. Serve warmish or cold.
This is another from Ottolenghi The Cookbook.
I’m always looking for a new way to serve couscous. It’s easy and fast and the boys love it. This recipe was a really good one. The squash and apricots are always a nice combination, but it was the fresh herbs that really put it over the top. They make the dish taste really summer-y and light.
Cooking the squash takes a little time, but you could always do that part in advance, the rest of it is a breeze. I would make this again.