Thursday, November 06, 2008

Squash and couscous

A good many squashes will arrive in the vegetable box over the next few months. Although some recipes specify boiling, I almost always bake them - either in halves, and then scooping out the flesh for a soup; or peeled and cubed.

Peeling them is a pain. The skin is tough, and hard to peel away neatly. I cut the squash into quarters first. The flesh is quite tough too: it can take cubed, fork-sized pieces of squash 45 minutes to soften in a gas mark 5/180C oven.

I toss squash for stirring into couscous in oil - olive or sunflower - and a generous portion (about 2tsps) of cumin seeds. I like toasted pine kernels in there. The dish needs colour to relieve the beige: the other night, I added sun-dried tomatoes and raisins (which I had softened for 20 minutes in hot water), along with garlic fried in olive oil for a minute, and harissa.

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