Tag Archive | delicata squash

Squash Couscous

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I don’t know about you, but I boil very few vegetables. Boiling, as a cooking method, doesn’t exactly bring out the best in vegetables, at least not for me.

This Canadian Living, squash couscous recipe caught my eye, but the picture did not appeal to me at all because the vegetables were essentially boiled in a flavoured broth and served over couscous. However, I loved the other elements of the recipe, so changed the cooking method to get something more palatable for me.

I omitted the broth entirely. Instead, I pre-roasted the squash (I replaced the butternut squash with delicata squash, one of my favourite types of squash) in the oven and cooked the zucchini in a shallow frying pan until golden. If the weather was better, I would have grilled the zucchini on the barbecue. I heated up the oil, cooked the onion, flavourings, and seasoning, and added the chickpeas, squash, and zucchini to absorb some of the flavours.

The result was incredible, with no soggy or boiled down vegetables. In fact, the roasting and shallow pan frying imparted additional flavours bringing out the best in these vegetables, namely their sweetness, still maintaining their shape and bite. It looked like a cornucopia of autumn goodness with mounds of seasonal, caramelized vegetables, embellished by just a hint of honey and a good handful of raisins. Together with the chickpeas and couscous, the dish is a complete vegetable protein and a fitting celebration of the season.

I prepared this for my mother and my mother-in-law (yes, they are both in town at the same time) and there were no leftovers…

If you pre-roast the squash from the night before or the weekend, this dish takes minutes to prepare. Served over a bed of couscous, it really does look special though no one will ever know just how quick and effortless it really was.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

 Oil, canola  1/4 cup
 Onion, Spanish, roughly chopped  1
 Ginger, fresh, grated  1/2 tsp
 Salt  1/2 tsp
 Black pepper  1/2 tsp
 Turmeric  1/2 tsp
 Raisins  1/2 cup
 Honey  1/4 cup
 Couscous:
 Couscous, whole wheat  2 cups
 Water  4 cups
 Salt  1/2 tsp
 Olive oil  Splash
 Roasted Delicata Squash:  Splash
 Squash, delicata, cut into 1-2-inch pieces  1.5 lbs
 Olive oil  1/3 cup or so
 Salt
 Black pepper
 Pan-fried Zucchini:  Splash
 Zucchini, green, medium-large,  cut diagonally into 1/4-inch thick pieces  2
 Canola oil  1/2 cup
 Salt
 Black pepper
 Chickpeas  19 oz can
 Harissa  For serving

Directions:

  1. To prepare the delicata squash, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash, remove the seeds, and cut the squash into 1-2-inch pieces. There is no need to peel delicata squash. When roasted, the peel becomes very thin and is edible. In a roasting pan, combine squash, olive, salt, and black pepper and roast until caramelized, approximately 45-60 minutes. If I am making this during the week, I normally roast the squash from the night before or the weekend.
  2. To prepare the couscous, follow the instructions on the package. I placed the couscous in a medium bowl and added a splash of olive oil and salt and then poured the boiled water over the couscous, covered it with saran wrap and let it stand for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, I fluffed the couscous with a fork.
  3. To prepare the zucchini, cut the zucchini diagonally into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Season with salt and black pepper. Heat the canola oil in a frying pan and cook zucchini, turning once, approximately 3-4 minutes on each sides, until golden.
  4. In a medium pot, heat canola oil over medium heat.
  5. Add onion, ginger, salt, pepper and turmeric and cook until the onions become translucent and are beginning to caramelize slightly, approximately 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add raisins and honey and cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add chickpeas and cook until heated through, approximately 5 minutes.
  8. Add roasted squash, pan-fried zucchini, and parsley and cook until they are warm and thoroughly combined with pot ingredients, approximately 5 minutes.
  9. Dump couscous onto the centre of large platter. Arrange vegetables over couscous. Sprinkle with more parsley. Serve with harissa as a side or drizzled on top.

Delicata Squash Stuffed with Cashew Butter

I love squash. When I saw these at my farmers’ market, I bought eight! fully intending to stuff half and roast the rest as a side dish. I knew I wanted to stuff them, but wasn’t sure how. I get tired of the high carb vegetarian stuffing options and wanted something different. This time, I experimented with cashew butter and though only 1 tablespoon gets served with each half squash, the combination is extremely filling.

Not only is this squash visually stunning with its bright yellow exterior and forest green stripes, but this combination is absolutely delicious! The squash has a delicate sweetness and together with the layer of the bold and earthy cashews enhanced with undertones of roasted red pepper and garlic and that sage surprise make my mouth extremely happy and this dish one of my favourite ways to serve squash. My husband took his first bite and let out what sounded like a very, long approving groan. My mom went out and bought this squash after seeing the picture.

Be sure to thoroughly wash and scrub the exterior of your squash; it becomes very thin when roasted and is fully edible.

This is a perfect autumn dish.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

Squash, Delicata, yellow, washed 6
Olive oil
Salt
Black pepper
Sage, leaves, fresh 6
Cashew butter 1 cup
Pepper, red, roasted ½
Garlic cloves, roasted 4
Chives 6-8
Parsley, sprigs 2
Canola oil 3 tbsp
Lemon juice 2 tsp
Salt
Black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cut each squash in half and remove seeds.
  3. Using your hands, coat the squash halves with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper. Place one sage leaf in each squash half. Brush the sage leaf with a little bit of olive oil (this will prevent it from burning in the oven).
  4. Bake for approximately 45 minutes until the squash is tender.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine the remaining ingredients in a food processor.
  6. Place 1 tbsp of the filling in each half squash.
  7. Serve two half squash per person with a side of roasted potatoes. Before eating, using a knife, evenly spread the cashew butter over the entire surface of each of the squash.