Couscous is semolina or durum wheat granules. It's cooked by steaming in a flavorful broth of herbs and spices, traditionally served with meat in the Middle East. With winter acorn squash season, I thought why not roast this cousin of a pumpkin and stuff it? And that’s exactly what I did!
Here's my take on a flavorful veggie dish that will keep you asking for more!
Let's start with the acorn squash. You want to set the squash (ridge side down) on a cutting board and CAREFULLY cut the vegetable in half. I say carefully because squash can be a little tough and we don’t want any slit fingers.
Next you want to just scoop out the seeds using a spoon, and place the two halves on a cast iron skillet or any baking sheet. You want to salt the acorn squash liberally, rubbing it in. Then just brush or spray it with your oil of choice...I used coconut oil. Lastly you want to sprinkle it generously with brown sugar and bake it on 425 for 45 to 60 minutes until tender.
**Reserve the seeds for a snack later by roasting it in warm spices like nutmeg and cinnamon or salt/pepper and cayenne pepper for a kick.
So while the squash is in the oven let's prep the couscous, our filling. You want to take about 1 1/3 cup of stock. Here I am using chicken stock which will give it great flavor, but you can easily use vegetable stock or water. Along with the stock you want to add: Salt/pepper, freshly grated garlic, chopped fresh parsley, chopped sundried tomatoes and olive oil. Bring all of these ingredients to a boil with some red pepper flakes (if you like the heat), then turn the heat to low and add in about a cup of couscous. You want to stir it and then cover, letting it steam on low flame for 10 to 15 minutes.
**Gluten Free Alternative: Quinoa can be used instead of couscous
**Cooked or leftover chicken can be added if desired.
After your acorn squash and couscous are cooked, they will look something like this. You will want to set aside your squash to cool slightly and add a handful of fresh pomegranates and pinenuts to your couscous. Then just fluff your couscous with a fork to mix all the ingredients together.
Now you'll want to just stuff your roasted squash with the fluffed couscous and garnish with more chopped parsley and pomegranates along with a squeeze of fresh lemon. All you need is a fork to dig into this delicious orange fleshed, sweet roasted vegetable that will keep you asking for more all winter long.