Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winter Israeli Couscous

In a rare turn of events, I threw together a meal that I found creative, and enjoyable, enough to try posting about it. This couscous concoction was easy to put together, seasonally appropriate and fairly inexpensive.

Unfortunately, my description at the very end might not be entirely accurate as the dish was eaten weeks ago before Christmas. Then again my descriptions, perhaps, are never that accurate.

Winter Israeli Couscous
This prepared 4 to 5 servings, which I ate as individual meals.
  • 1 box of Israeli Couscous from Trader Joe's
  • 3 lbs of Butternut Squash
  • 1/3 c. Italian Parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 pieces (I think) of Trader Joe's Uncured Turkey Bacon
  • 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
  • Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the butternut squash and cut in half. Scoop the seeds and stringy part out with a spoon. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until you can easily poke through it with a knife.

While the squash cooks prepare the couscous as directed on the box. Cut the red onion and place on top of the couscous to steam (in the future I may saute it before cooking the couscous for a sweeter flavor) while the couscous cooks. Take the bacon and place it on a foil-lined baking sheet in the oven until not quite crisp, which in my oven took around 20 minutes as expected from the package. Cut up the parsley and set it aside.

By now the squash should be done. Remove it from the oven and let cool until you can handle touching it. Cut it into cubes, whatever size you'll enjoy. Add the squash and parsley to the couscous once it finishes cooking. Cover pan again to keep everything warm.

Remove the bacon from the oven and cut into pieces; I used scissors as it was easier. Add to the other ingredients in the pan and toss. Enjoy.

I liked the texture of the larger couscous. It is denser and chewier than the smaller version, similar to the tapioca balls in Bubble Tea. The roasted butternut squash and turkey bacon provided a salty sweet contrast that spiced up a potentially plain grain. Onions are a safe bet and the parsley added a splash of color with a refreshing flavor. I will make this again.

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