Butternut Squash, Browned Butter and Sage Couscous

January 5, 2010

Author Notes:

My wife inspired the creation of this recipe by asking if I could deconstruct a squash and sage ravioli dish that she had recently enjoyed. The resulting course is a deliciously simple, yet richly flavored dish that would be equally at home served with a braised lamb shank, or a simply prepared fish filet. I made the dish with a small grained couscous, but I’m sure it would work as well with the larger, “Israeli” variety.

Oui, Chef

Serves: 8


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 15 small-medium fresh sage leaves, thickly sliced
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup couscous, cooked to the producers instructions, and kept covered and warm.
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts, lightly toasted in a skillet.
  • 2 cups 1/2” x 1/2” cubes of butternut squash.
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly grated white pepper to taste.
In This Recipe


  1. Peel, seed, and cube the squash, steam for eight to ten minutes, until just cooked through, remove from heat and reserve.
  2. Cook the couscous per the producers instructions, cover and let rest in the pan to keep warm.
  3. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat until the milk solids turn a lovely golden brown. When that happens, and with the butter still on the heat, add the chicken stock, sliced sage, and the freshly grated nutmeg (I used about an 1/8 teaspoon, use more or less as you wish). Cook the sauce, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup, remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, cover and keep warm.
  4. To serve, fluff the couscous with a fork, and toss it into the pan with the sauce. Add the cubed squash and chopped walnuts, stir to incorporate and reheat gently if required. Make a final check for seasoning and serve with a light dusting of freshly gated parmesan.

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Reviews (9) Questions (0)

9 Reviews

Table9 October 25, 2010
This is a wonderful recipe! You could also you it with barley, and it would have a nice texture as well.
Author Comment
Oui, C. October 26, 2010
Thanks! I've been on a wheatberry kick as of late, and I'm thinking I may want to try them sometime too. - S
cheese1227 October 25, 2010
If you are making it with Isreali couscous, could you brown the butter and toast the uncooked couscous in it without the butter going too far brown?
Author Comment
Oui, C. October 26, 2010
I think as long as you're not cooking at too high a temperature so that the couscous toasts nicely before the butter starts to burn, it should be fine. next time I make it, I'll use Israeli and let you know how it comes out. - S
WinnieAb January 10, 2010
Sounds absolutely delish!
TasteFood January 8, 2010
This sounds sublime. Perfect for a fall evening.
sweet E. January 7, 2010
I agree. fried sage and butternut squash ---- irresistible!
SunnySideUp (. January 6, 2010
i love anything with fried sage.
Food B. January 6, 2010
I make a butternut squash and sage risotto that is similar. Now, I'd love to try it with Israeli couscous, as you suggest.