Curried Couscous with Maple Roasted Acorn Squash

This easy couscous dish is one of my favorites when entertaining crowds. It's an incredibly easy dish as it can be made up to two days in advance and can be served either hot or room temperature--a Godsend when you already have multiple dishes competing for oven time.

I used roasted acorn squash here, but feel free to substitute butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or even pumpkin, if you prefer. Just adjust the roasting time as necessary. The sweetness of the squash combines well with the spice of the curried dressing and pumpkin seeds add just a hint of crunch to the final dish.

If you'd like, you can also add other kinds of nuts (almonds or pine nuts, would work well here), additional roasted chopped veggies like cauliflower or beets, or even add a protein. I've found that small roasted shrimp work nicely in this dish, turning it into an instant main course for lunch or a light dinner.


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Curried Couscous with Maple Roasted Acorn Squash

Ingredients
3 acorn squash, sliced and then diced into 1" pieces (leave skin on)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups boiling water

For the dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of one large lemon
1 rounded tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup minced scallions


1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Placed the cut acorn squash into a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil and maple syrup, and then toss to coat. Spread on prepared baking pans, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and roast about 20 minutes, or until tender and just a little bit crisp around the edges.

Place the couscous in a large bowl. Combine the olive oil and water and bring to a boil. Immediately pour over the couscous and cover bowl tightly with foil or a large plate. Let sit for about 5 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, cayenne, parsley, and scallions) and pour over the couscous, tossing to coat. Fold in the roasted squash and pumpkin seeds, taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve warm or room temperature.

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