From taking the time to inventory my fridge and make a meal plan, I knew that I had a bag of fresh spinach that I needed to use before it went bad. My first thought was creamed spinach (one of The Mister’s favorites), but that dish requires much more spinach than I had on-hand.
Then I found this warm salad, which called for not only the exact amount of spinach I had in my fridge, but also butternut squash (one of my favorite vegetables)! I was sold.
While I think some of the proportions in the original recipe needed a little tweaking (6 ounces of spinach is far too much), this recipe had great flavor. I loved the contrast of the tart vinegar with the sweet roasted vegetables. And the original recipe provides some tips for substitutions: red onion for the shallots, sage for the rosemary, and any other hard-skinned squash in place of the butternut squash.
I served it as a side dish along with pork chops, but it’s filling enough to serve as the main meal if you are vegetarian. Omit the Parmesan cheese for a vegan dish.
Couscous with Spinach and Squash
|Meal type||Side Dish|
|Website||Adapted from Sparkpeople|
- 4 large shallots, quartered
- 1 butternut squash, 1 to 2 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
- 3oz fresh spinach
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (omit to keep dish vegan)
|Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Spread the butternut squash cubes and shallot quarters in an even layer and toss with olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes.|
|While the vegetables are roasting, place 1 ¼ cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, reduce the heat to low and simmer. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, checking frequently to prevent burning.|
|Once the couscous is finished, stir in the roasted vegetables. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and herbs, then stir into the couscous/vegetable mixture. Then stir in the Parmesan cheese.|