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Heavenly holiday fair! Choose winter squash that have the prettiest, most symmetrical shape, such as acorn or even small round pie pumpkins. Enjoy! This came out of Vegetarian Times Cookbook.
- 4 squash, each about 1 to 2 pounds
- 3⁄4 cup water, salted if desired
- 2 1⁄2 cups uncooked couscous
- 1 cup currants
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 4 tablespoons fat-free margarine, spread
- 2 large golden delicious apples, cored and sliced
- 2 pears, cored and chopped coarsely
- 1⁄2 cup dried apricot, cut into small pieces
- 1⁄2 cup golden raisin
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 4 tablespoons mild honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon mace
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons cardamom
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- fresh greens or fresh edible flower, for garnish
- Cut the top of each squash off to make a handsome lid.
- Set aside the lids.
- Cut a thin slice from the bottom of each squash to make it stand firmly.
- Using a large metal spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy flesh.
- Remove the flesh from each to weigh a combined total of about 1 pound, taking some from the lid pieces, if necessary.
- Cut the scooped-out squash into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Steam until fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring salted water to a rolling boil.
- Stir in the couscous and currants, cover and remove from the heat.
- Let sit 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325*.
- Heat 2 tbls.
- margarine in a large skillet, and cook the apples, pears, apricots, raisins and walnuts, stirring, for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 tbls.
- honey, spices except for the pinch of cinnamon, couscous, steamed squash and salt to taste.
- Cook, stirring gently, for 2 or 3 minutes more.
- Remove from heat.
- In a small pot, melt the remaining margarine, stir in the remaining honey and a pinch of cinnamon.
- Generously brush the inside of the squash with the honey mixture and divide the filling equally among them.
- Replace the squash lids, carefully turn upside down and place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking oil.
- Bake until a fork easily pierces the squash, about 1 hour.
- Carefully transfer the roasted squash to a large serving platter, remove the lids and cut each squash in half vertically.
- Garnish the platter with fresh greens or flowers.
Outstanding! My squash were much too small to cut out the flesh, so I just stuffed then with the mixture minus the squash. It was awesome. I was trying to cut down on time here, so I didn't follow the instructions about making the "hat" and instead I just cut my squash in half, cooked it face down for 30 minutes, turned them right side up, brushed with the margarine/honey, then stuffed them with the couscous/fruit/nut mixture, then cooked them for 30 more minutes. If you do this, make sure you COVER THE DISH to keep the moisture in the couscous (mine was super crunchy because I didn't cover the dish, but this was my mistake). Additionally, instead of using salt and pepper, I just subbed veggie broth for the water which gave it great body. Thanks for posting this yummy lunch!
I reduced this recipe to 1/4 as DH and I are usually the only ones to eat squash in our house. We did have one guest, but I was using a really large squash and as a side, I thought it would still be plenty. Although removing some of the squash flesh was difficult, I didn't interpret the instructions to mean I should remove all or even most of the flesh, just enough to fold some in with the fruited couscous, which is what I did. It went over well with DH, myself and our guest; in fact, our guest was raving as he went back for 2nds! Thank you for sharing this recipe Sharon...another variation for squash and couscous, both foods DH and I enjoy!
This recipe was interesting. My prep time was about an hour or more. It was very difficult to cut the flesh out of the uncooked squash. The filling was good, but not superb. The presentation was quite nice, though. I'm not sure all the work was worth the end result. JMHO