Couscous salad with butternut squash, mint, and arugula

I love fall and all the colors and flavors that come with it. The weather gets cooler and the food gets hardier. One of my favorite additions to our table are the squashes that start showing up at the market. I think the one I like most is butternut squash. This little guy is so versatile and tasty. We just found our first batch at Trader Joe’s. We bought 2 really large butternut squash and we’ll be able to make at least 4 recipes with them. Yippee!

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Related to my last post, I have a ton of mint that I don’t want to go to waste so of course I started looking for a recipe to combine my squash and mint. This one even added the Israeli Couscous that we love. This recipe is inspired by a vegetarian recipe I found that uses vegetable broth and adds currants. We changed it up to make it more savory and trying to highlight the earthiness of the arugula and squash.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups of 1/2 inch cubes peeled butternut squash
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1/2 cup slivered toasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Mix your squash and 2 tablespoons oil in a large bowl and season generously with the salt and pepper. Then transfer to a large baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, turning once or twice with tongs or a spatula. Cook until the squash is fork tender. (As a side note, the squash is good just like this and you could eat it right away – we do this a lot) Let the squash cool.

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Using a medium sauce pan, combine 1 tablespoon oil, couscous, 1 teaspoon salt and the broth. Bring this mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed. Toss the couscous with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and spread on a large baking sheet to cool.wpid-israeli-couscous-with-butternut-squash.jpg.jpeg

When ready, toss the cooled couscous with the butternut squash, mint, and add the arugula. You can use this as a side salad or a light lunch. You could even turn it into a main entree by adding some grilled chicken strips to it.

We served our dish with the arugula covering the couscous salad. Next time, I think I will put the arugula on the base and cover the arugula with the couscous salad. We paired this with some herb brined roasted chicken.

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