Couscous with dried apricots and butternut squash

Tip: make this recipe one day before use. By then all the ingredients will have mixed so well, it’s like they have had a good party in the fridge!

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 tbsp olive oil
50g dried apricots
1 small butternut squash (about 450g), peeled, seeded and cut into 2cm dice
250g couscous
400ml chicken or vegetable stock
a pinch of saffron strands
3 tbsp roughly chopped tarragon
3 tbsp roughly chopped mint
3 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
grated zest of ½ lemon
coarse sea salt and black pepper


Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake the onion rings in a large frying pan on a high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of salt and turn frequently until they are golden brown.
Set aside.

Pour enough tab water over the apricots to cover them and let them soak for 5 minutes. Drain the water and cut the apricots in small pieces of 1/2 cm.

Mix the pumpkin dices with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the dices in a roasting dish and place in the oven. Roast the pumpkin for plus minus 25 minutes until the dices are golden brown and done.

In the meantime make the couscous. Bring together with the saffron the stock to the boil. Put the couscous in a heatproof dish and pour over the hot stock plus the rest of the olive oil. Cover the dish with plastic foil and leave the couscous for 10 minutes to soak up all the liquid.

With a fork pull the couscous apart and add the onions, pumpkin, apricots, herbs, cinnamon and lemon zest. Mix together and season to taste.



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