This beautiful dish can be the centerpiece of a meatless meal or the perfect solution to a table full of “mixed” diners: vegetarians will make it their entrée and everyone else can have it as a side dish. Acorn squash varies in size: select the squash that works best for your purpose.
- 2 medium acorn squash, halved through the stem and seeded
- 1 3/4 cups orange juice
- 1/2 cup couscous
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the squash cut side down in a 13x9-inch baking dish and pour in 1 cup of the orange juice. Roast until tender, 40-45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring the remaining 3/4 cup orange juice to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the couscous, cover, remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a bowl and fluff with a fork.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the apricots, pecans and cranberries and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup, nutmeg, salt and pepper; cook 30 seconds. Transfer to the bowl with the couscous and mix well.
- Spoon the couscous mixture into the squash and serve warm or room temperature.