Friday, November 21, 2014

Autumn Couscous Salad


8 ounces Israeli or Pearl couscous, about 1 ½ cups
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced, about 2 tablespoons
1 fennel bulb, diced, about 1 cup
2 ½ cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
¾ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried currants
1 ½ cups apple juice, reserving ¼ cup of the cooked juice
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped


1. Bring water to boil in a medium size saucepan, add couscous and bring back to a boil then lower to medium and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander, but do not rinse. Set aside in a mixing bowl to cool.
2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add diced fennel and cook for another 5 minutes or until fennel softens. Add butternut squash, sage, cranberries, currants and apple juice and cook for 15 minutes or until butternut squash has softened and almost all of the apple juice has cooked down. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the couscous, reserving about ¼ cup of the apple juice for the vinaigrette.
3. In a small bowl, mix the reserved apple juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar and more salt and pepper to taste. Add to the couscous with the parsley and stir. Let couscous sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes for flavors to meld before serving. Add more sage if desired.

I made this for a party at work and it received a lot of compliments.

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