cous cous extravaganza

Cous Cous Salad with Butternut Squash and Kale

All of my recent gardening efforts have left me with a larger appetite and less time for food preparation. I’ve taken to making large batches of food to provide me with quick, tasty and healthy meals so that I can fuel up fast, save the rest in the fridge for later and get back to playing in the dirt.

This salad I whipped up on the weekend perfectly fit the bill. With only 5 minutes of cooking time, cous cous is a quick and easy carb. The grain itself is made by rolling and shaping moistened semolina wheat into granules and then coating them with finely ground wheat flour. Cous cous serves as a primary staple to many parts of the world and provides a great back drop to a wide range of ingredients and flavours. Take note that, while I put pretty much everything but the kitchen sink in this version, it's a very flexible recipe. You can add or omit any ingredients you wish and serve it freshly made, while it is still warm or later, when it has chilled in the fridge. This dish also travels well and can serve as an excellent ‘starch’ portion to many entrees. Note that I did intend to include a photo of the completed dish….. but I forgot and ate it all.

Cous Cous Salad with Butternut Squash & Kale

2 T olive oil
¼ yellow onion, small dice
1 c dried cous cous
1 c boiling water

1/3 c currants, soaked for 20 minutes in boiled water and then drained
1 + 1/2 c kale, thinly sliced
¾ c roasted butternut squash, large dice
½ orange pepper, cored and sliced
½ c fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 preserved lemons, pulp removed and thinly sliced
1/3 c chopped parsley
1/3 c toasted pumpkin seeds
2 T nutritional yeast
½ c frozen green peas

Juice and zest of ½ lemon
½ c olive oil
s & p

In a large pot over low-medium heat, sauté yellow onion in 2 T olive oil until onions are yellow and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add cous cous and stir well. Turn off heat. Pour in boiling water. Cover and let stand for 4 minutes. Add frozen peas and let stand for 1 more minute. Fluff cous cous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust salt, if needed. Serve immediately, or store covered in fridge.

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