Fall

Butternut Squash, Browned Butter and Sage Couscous

by:
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
Ingredients
  • 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
Directions
  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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Review
I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin. About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.