Rich and buttery, this pumpkin couscous rivals the richest of risotto dishes Rich and buttery, this pumpkin couscous rivals the richest of risotto dishes Israeli Kitchen Rich and buttery, this pumpkin couscous rivals the richest of risotto dishes. (Photo: Anna Norris)

Pumpkin couscous with browned sage butter

Israeli couscous takes a starring role in this seasonal dish.

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  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

When smells of pumpkin, sage and nutmeg fill your kitchen, you know fall weather is in full swing.

This seasonal recipe features Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, which is a larger variety of the typically tiny pasta. Paired with a buttery sauce and flavorful pumpkin, it's a hearty dish that works well as an appetizer or a side dish as part of the most impressive of Mediterranean spreads.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 8-10 small sage leaves, or 2-3 tablespoons chopped large leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

Pumpkin couscous calls for canned pumpkin, a sweet onion, and the Israeli couscous variety of this popular pasta.Pumpkin couscous calls for canned pumpkin, a sweet onion, fresh sage and the Israeli couscous variety of this popular pasta. (Photo: Anna Norris)

First, finely dice the onion. Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat and add olive oil. Once olive oil starts to ripple and becomes fragrant, add onion and saute.

While the onion is sauteing, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a small pot.

Saute the onion for 5 minutes, until soft and turning golden brown. Add couscous and sprinkle salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Stir for about a minute.

When the vegetable broth comes to a boil, pour it into the couscous and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the saucepan. Turn heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently – couscous is prone to sticking to the bottom of pans!

Sage takes center stage in this fall recipeSage adds a depth of flavor to this dish that's unmistakably representative of fall. (Photo: Anna Norris)

While the couscous is simmering, heat butter and sage on medium-low in a medium-sized skillet. Cook until the butter begins to brown and the sauce becomes fragrant. (Be careful not to burn the butter! Take it slow and steady at a lower heat if you wish, since you'll have plenty of time to spare while the couscous is simmering). It should take about 3-4 minutes.

The couscous is finished cooking when it has absorbed all the liquid and is tender but still slightly al dente. Keep the heat on low and add the pumpkin 1/4 cup at a time, tasting to see if you want to add more.

Pour in the browned sage butter and mix well. Garnish with sage leaves and rosemary. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin couscous garnished with sage and rosemaryThis pumpkin couscous is remarkably filling and full of flavor. (Photo: Anna Norris)

Pumpkin couscous holds its own as a main dishCouscous makes a great appetizer, side dish or meal. Round it out with a roasted lamb or keep it vegetarian by adding a leafy salad. (Photo: Anna Norris)

Related Topics: Appetizers, Mediterranean, Vegetarian

Recipes from the Israeli KitchenRecipes from the Israeli Kitchen
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