israeli couscous with squash, dried cherries & pistachios

Mommy guilt is a great motivator. Some spoil with truckloads of toys. For my girls it usually means a batch of cookies. Except children cannot live on chocolate chip cookies alone, even if they are the best in the world—Isabella’s words, and I kind of agree.

When I’m away traveling or have a crazy week of evening events, I leave the next best thing to a hug and kiss goodnight—some homecooked comfort to fill their bellies. Isabella’s new found love is Israeli couscous. The first time she had it was at our friends and it was lightly seasoned with cumin. I was pretty floored when she not only devoured it, but even asked for seconds. She’s a quirky kid when it comes to certain flavors.

But I digress, because there is no cumin in this recipe, though I suspect it would put a delightful twist on it. This was one of those fly-by-the-seat of your pantry dishes. I knew the delicata squash on the kitchen counter was destined for the pan. After perusing the cupboard, I decided pistachios and dried sour cherries would keep it company. I’ve since made this using butternut squash, about a cup is all you need to swap in. And really, any winter squash you have hanging around will do.


The best part is once you prep your ingredients, this is ready to eat in about 10 minutes. The taste gets better the next day, so consider it a good make ahead meal too. And while you may be tempted to serve it as a side dish, I serve it as a main course. I did so with hesitation at first, but then realized I make vegetarian pasta dishes all the time. Israeli couscous is afterall just a tiny, pearl-sized pasta, so why not keep this front and center.

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