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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Baked Butternut Squash With Couscous & Goat Cheese





This post is yet again dedicated to my bestest friend who had asked me to come up with a savory dish made of butternut squash. After combing thru some food blogs via Foodgawker I found a recipe that I was able to modify to my taste and put together this wonderful appetizer/side dish.


Ingredients:
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium shallots
  • 1/2 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese, plus extra for topping
  • Salt, to taste
Directions:

Preheat oven to 400˚. Slice butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds.
Place each half, cut side down, in a baking dish and pour about 1/2 inch of water. Place in oven and bake until tender, about 45-60 minutes, depending on the side of your squash. Once done, remove and set aside.
Dice shallots. In a medium skillet heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté shallots until fragrant. Add water and bring just to a boil. Stir in couscous; cover skillet with lid and remove from heat. Let stand covered for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, scoop out butternut squash, leaving a 1/4"-1/2" on the sides and bottom. Drain water from baking dish and return butternut squash to the pan, cut side up.

Mash butternut squash with fork and stir in 1/3 cup of goat cheese. Once couscous is done, add it to butternut squash, mix well, taste and add salt to taste.

Fill the butternut squash halves with couscous mixture, sprinkle with leftover goat cheese and return to oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top begins to brown.

Remove from oven, cut each half in half and serve over bed of greens, like spinach or lettuce. You can garnish it with parsley or cilantro. In my opinion, cilantro complements couscous very nicely. But again, in my opinion, cilantro complements just about any savory dish, so don't take my bias word for it. Yeah.. come to think of it, I literally put cilantro in all of my food. But, seriously, it does work nicely here!
Couple of tips here. I roasted the squash the day before, and that, obviously, didn't take much time and effort. And I put the rest of it together the next day. So between two days it really is a pretty easy and effortless recipe. 

Also, my squash was a fairly small in size. If you get a bigger one, then maybe use 2 shallots, 1/2 cup of goat cheese, 2/3 cup of couscous and 2/3 cup of water.



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