As I mentioned when first posting this recipe on my blog, mommy guilt is a great motivator. With a travel schedule of three trips in 16 days, I dug deep into creative pantry cooking to make sure the girls had a belly full of goodness every night I was gone. And while you may be tempted to serve this is a side, it really does make for a filling entree all on its own. It also tastes great cold the next day, so it's a great make ahead meal too. - Jennifer Perillo —Jennifer Perillo
Test Kitchen Notes
What a great recipe! Not only is it healthy, hearty and easy, but it's a great dish that can work well for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike and travels well. It comes together really easily & the slight tartness of the dried cherries and crunch of pistachios work really well, but it would also work with craisins and other nuts. My only tweak was, after the squash had browned a bit, to cover the pan for a few minutes while squash was cooking (adding a few tablespoons of water) & then let it brown again once it was soft. I also seasoned the butternut squash with some salt when it just started cooking to make sure every element was well seasoned. This is going to become a staple of my fall/winter kitchen. - allie —The Editors
Bring 2 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium pot. Add a pinch of salt, then the couscous. Reduce flame slightly if water begins to boil over. Cook until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. This should be finished cooking just as you need to add it to the saute pan, but you can also strain and set aside if it doesn't time out.
Meanwhile, heat a swirl of olive oil, enough to coat the pan, in a 10-inch skillet. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, Add the squash and saute until golden and lightly browned. Stir in the dried cherries and pistachios. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the drained couscous. Add a bit more olive oil if needed to keep it from sticking to the pan. Stir in the parsley and serve warm, or let cool and store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Jennifer Perillo is the Consulting Food Editor at Working Mother magazine, and a regular a contributor to Relish Magazine and FoodNetwork.com. She shares stories about food, family and life at her blog In Jennie's Kitchen and in her debut cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen (Running Press 2013).