Couscous is absolutely one of the simplest things to make–put the dried couscous into a bowl, pour boiling broth over, cover, and, in about 15 minutes, you've got the base for a delicious meal. This dish, from Barefoot Contessa, can easily be made vegetarian with the simple switch to vege stock instead of chicken stock. Also, if you don't feel like turning on the oven over the summer, you can definitely grill the vegetables instead of roasting them. Just grill them in larger pieces and then chop them after.
(image and recipe from Barefoot Contessa)
2 cups (3/4-inch) diced butternut squash
2 cups chopped yellow onion (2 onions)
1 1/2 cups (3/4-inch) diced carrots (4 carrots)
1 1/2 cups (3/4-inch) diced zucchini (2 medium)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock or canned broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 cups couscous (10 ounces)
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the butternut squash, onions, carrots, and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a spatula.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the butter, 1 teaspoon salt (depending on saltiness of the stock), 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the cumin, and saffron threads and allow to steep for at least 15 minutes.
Bring the chicken stock just back to a boil. Place the couscous and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and pour the hot chicken stock over them. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork, and serve warm or at room temperature.
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