Giant Couscous with Butternut Squash

fregola.jpgToday, Jules shares a recipe to warm up winter:

“To me, there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with a nice bowl of something piping hot on a cold winter day. I love soups, but for a change of pace, this lovely couscous dish is hearty enough to satisfy cold weather cravings, but light enough to be refreshing and clean. The lemon adds an essential, surprising background note.
Giant Couscous with Butternut Squash, Arugula, and Lemon

Serves 6

  • 1 half large butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pound giant couscous*
  • Chicken broth
  • 3 large lemons (see prep in Step 2 below)
  • 1 package arugula (about 6 cups)
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Dice butternut squash into uniform pieces (about ½” cubes) and place in large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, brown sugar, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well until all pieces of squash are evenly coated. Bake until pieces begin to brown and are just fork-tender, but not too soft. (They will be warmed again and you don’t want them getting mushy.) Allow to cool.

    2. While squash is cooking, prepare couscous according to package instructions. I recommend using chicken broth in place of water to improve flavor. Add the peels of 2 lemons. (Peel lemons using household vegetable peeler, taking care to not get too much of the white pith just under the peel). Reserve the flesh of the lemons and the third whole lemon.

    3. When couscous is cooked to al dente, strain and return to cooking pot. Stir in squash mixture. Add the juices of the 3 lemons plus the remaining lemon peel (grated or peeled) to couscous. Add arugula and stir just until wilted and entire dish is warmed through. Finish by stirring in Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

    *Giant couscous isn’t available in all grocery stores; I usually find it in my local health food store. It is also known as fregola.”

    CLICK HERE for a printable PDF of this recipe.

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