This recipe beautifully marks the transition to fall here in Florida by showcasing seasonal ingredients and flavors without resulting in a heavy sort of dish that we’re not ready for quite yet here in the still-warm Sunshine State. I noticed that I had several bags of frozen pearl onions in the freezer (not entirely sure why??) which prompted me to come up with something delicious and different to reduce my inventory. This would also make a great holiday side to share with family and friends.
A great group of ladies and I belong to a group aptly named The Inspired Plate and we have themed challenges each month to help hone our food photography and styling skills. I normally present my contribution to the group on my photography blog, but I thought it would be nice to start compiling the monthly challenges here at Kitchen Serendipity. This month’s challenge is to present a “seasonal dish.” Please check out the beautiful work of fellow The Inspired Plate members Jen Olson, Sabrina Wong, Tammy Bilodeau, and Laurie Vengoechea this month!
Three-Onion Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous with Butternut Squash and Shiitake Mushrooms
- ½ cup thinly sliced shallots (from 1 large or 2 medium)
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous
- 1¼ cups reduced-sodium beef broth (use vegetable broth or mushroom stock for vegetarian version)
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 cups diced, uncooked butternut squash
- 2 cups stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1½ cups frozen pearl onions, thawed and pat dry
- pinch red pepper flakes to taste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- pumpkin seed oil (optional)
- kosher salt and coarse ground pepper
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often until they begin to turn deep in color, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel, season with a pinch of salt, and set aside.
- Bring the beef broth to a boil in a medium saucepan and add the couscous. Stir, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon butter and keep covered.
- In a bowl, add water to cover the diced butternut squash, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high 4 minutes.
- In a large skillet or wok, melt the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat and add the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes and then add the thawed pearl onions and pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook for about 3½ minutes, stirring frequently,. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Pour in the white wine and deglaze the pan by scraping up any cooked bits and allow the wine to cook off. Add the couscous and the butternut squash to the skillet and stir to combine. Add the Worcestershire sauce and chives; season with salt and pepper and give it a final stir.
- Drizzle with a swirl or two of the pumpkin seed oil and serve.
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