Sunday, February 21, 2010
David Lebovitz's Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash & Preserved Limes
A while ago, I received some pearl couscous to test - it's the blue box with Gabriel Gaté on the front. Even though it came with some Gabriel-designed recipes, none of them really caught my eye. Lucky then, that at about the same time, David Lebovitz posted a recipe for Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemons on his blog. I love those hearty meal-in-a-bowl type salads - chickpeas, brown rice, some dried fruit, herbs, whatever.
David's salad contains the couscous (duh), cooked onions, golden raisins, roasted squash, preserved lemons, parsley and toasted pine nuts. How good does that sound?
As you can see, the pearl couscous is larger than regular couscous, but also smaller than mograbieh.
I didn't have any preserved lemons, that oh-so-2007 ingredient, but I did have a jar of preserved limes in the pantry.
I'd never cooked with them before, and was surprised to find that they smelled super-strong, like chlorox. *Cough cough*.
I was a little worried using them, so I halved the amount the recipe asked for, and chopped them up into teensy-weensy pieces.
Please note knife of awesomeness, bought at Kappabashi-Kitchen-Town.
You also have to chop up and roast the butternut squash.
Then it is just a matter of chopping and stirring everything together. I didn't have any golden raisins, so substituted currants and cranberries - still good.
The salad was a lot of work, what with all the separate chopping and roasting and toasting and everything, but it was worth it! It was very tasty and light, and lasted for lunches over a few days. The preserved limes, while strong, weren't overpowering. The couscous is bland, and soaks up strong flavours really well. As for the couscous itself, I thought it was great! I liked how it kept its shape and didn't go soggy or blurry at the edges. It's a great carrier for dressings and sauces. If I were to use it as an accompaniment for a stew, I'd make sure to dress it with lots of butter or olive oil, some salt and possibly some chopped chives.