12 August 2006

Summer squash stuffed with couscous

This is a recipe straight out of the Joy of Cooking (page 268 in the 1996 edition). Well, the recipe actually calls for zucchini; I substituted gigantic yellow squash. I also used raz-el-hanout, a Moroccan spice mixture, along with the cinnamon (reduced, because American recipes always call for an excessive amount) in the JoC recipe. Raz-el-hanout is a mixture of cumin, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, coriander, and turmeric.

I also cooked the couscous by steaming it instead of just mixing it with the squash pulp and raisins and spices with chicken broth. Steaming couscous, even the so-called instant kind, gives you a much better result than just cooking it directly in liquid.

The first step is to put the couscous in a bowl and pour on cold water just to cover it. In a few minutes, the couscous will have absorbed all the water. Then work it with your fingers or a fork to break up any clumps and put it in a steamer (wrapp it in a cloth is you need to) over boiling water for 10 minutes. After the first steaming, take it out and work it again to remove clumps. Then steam it again, for 10 more minutes.

When the squash pulp is cooked and fairly dry, add the steamed couscous (it's already cooked and doesn't need to be boiled). Then add the pine nuts and stuff the squash with the mixture. Add salt, pepper, and olive oil to the stuffing as you like.

I let my stuffed squash boats cook under foil for the allotted time, and then at the end I uncovered them and turned on the broiler. Well, I kind of burned them, but not too much. They were still very good. The raisins, pine nuts, and spices gave a great flavor to the squash.

Yellow squash boats stuffed with
couscous, onions, garlic, raisins, pine nuts, and spices


  1. Oh, Ken! What timing. Thanks for this... we're overrun with gigantic yellow squash after being away for a 3-day weekend.

  2. Miam, miam ! Super, la recette ! Ça doit être drôlement bon :-) ! Marie


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