This dish was an easy sell to the kids. They love pasta and Israeli couscous are small, round, pasta-like granules made from semolina and wheat flour. Once they heard the word pasta they were happy to try it and pick out what foreign objects (in their minds it’s squash and red onion) didn’t belong. You even cook this couscous like you would pasta by boiling it in a pot of salted water.
We grew up with the Canada Food Guide with dinners having a serving of carbs (rice, pasta or potato), fruits & veggies, dairy and protein. You kind of carry this mentality with you when you have your own kids. Fortunately those carbs translate into so many other things. Like this couscous salad for example. It counts as a serving of both carbs and you’ve got some veggies in there. We grilled up (yes it was -6 outside but those are minor details) sausage, pita bread and I made some home made tomato soup to serve with dinner. It was a delicious and filling meal. My husband who doesn’t love pasta but tolerates it for the kids sake, said he loved it – even the fresh red onions (which he also does not care for).
This recipe was made using several local ingredients. In fact the only ingredient not local would be the Israeli Couscous and the orange. The couscous was cooked in advance and cooled down in the refrigerator. It served four and there were leftovers so I know what my lunch will be today!
- 1 cup of butternut squash cubed
- 2 cups cooked and cooled Israeli Couscous
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp za'atar
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Juice from 1/2 orange
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Toss butternut squash with 1 tsp canola oil and 1 tsp za'atar in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast until tender & lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Whisk together 2 tbsp canola oil, apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp za'atar, orange juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl light toss Israeli couscous, cranberries, parsley, mint, orange zest and butternut squash. Pour over half the dressing, season with salt and pepper and taste. Adjust seasoning (with more dressing) if needed. Serve.