Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Israeli Couscous with Kale, Butternut Squash, and White Beans

It's very obvious that I haven’t been home much in the past few weeks. Between going to my parents’ house for the weekend of Christmas and then back up to NYC the following weekend for New Year’s Eve, I’ve barely been home. And that means that I haven’t gone grocery shopping and that I kind of sort of have the same things in my fridge that have been there the past two weeks. (Thankfully such things last a long time in the fridge.) 

I came home from work tonight and realized that I had slim pickings in the fridge, but I refused to order food because I’ve been eating out for the past 5 days and I couldn’t bring myself to do so yet again. 

I remembered I had an unopened box of Israeli couscous in the pantry that I had bought too many months ago, and, because I really only had vegetables from the pizza I made a while back, I had no option but to revamp said pizza into some sort of Mediterranean warm salad type thing. (This is what happens when you're cooking for one!) It definitely tasted different – and really tasty, at that! – which was a good thing, because I was starting to grow weary of it after having eaten it twice in the past two weeks. And I'm finally all out these ingredients, which means I finally get to eat something different!

Israeli Couscous with Kale, Butternut Squash, and White Beans
(serves 2)

1 tablespoon canola oil
½ small onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2/3 cup Israeli couscous
2 cups water
¾ cup butternut squash, cut into ½” cubes
1 cup packed finely chopped kale
½ cup white beans
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 large green olives, finely chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
Salt to taste
A few grinds of black pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the couscous and roast until lightly golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.

In the mean time, boil the water. (I do this in a microwave-safe bowl covered with a plate.)

When the couscous is lightly browned, slowly add 1 2/3 cups of water, squash, and kale. Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the couscous has absorbed the liquid and is tender but barely firm in the center, about 12-15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered for a minute or two. Stir in the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.


Meg said...

i really like kale. not many people do. This dish reminds me of a florentine winter soup that has both kale and white beans.

John said...

I like Israeli couscous. That's a big couscous! Seriously though, I think it goes great with squash and beans. I'll need to try it.

BTW Roopa: I'm heading back up to NYC at the end of the month, and I want to make the side trip to Brooklyn this time. Didn't you recommend some good stuff in Queens the last time? I read on Twenty Bucks a Day that there is this Vietnamese place, Pho Tay Ho, that is very good - the Vietnamese version of Sripraphai according to the blogger.

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