Pistachio nuts, the red ones, cure any problem.
~ Paula Danzinger
First off: Happy Hallowe’en! This is a picture I made with the Jam and the Melon. The Jam made the bat that’s flying across the window on the right, and they helped to glue on the clouds, bats and ghosts.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I consider my Spicy Marinated Butternut Squash to be a base recipe as I’ve been incorporating it into other recipes. This recipe is one I have been making for a couple of weeks and I started making it after getting a little inspiration from Elaine@foodbod when she shared her lunch with roasted carrots and pistachios and I realised that I only ever just eat pistachios. I mean, I mill through them like there is no tomorrow. I love them plain, roasted with salt, roasted with salt and pepper, roasted with cumin – you name it, I’ve probably eaten it. And yet, I’ve never taken the time to shell them, set them aside and use them for something else besides my mouth. When I saw Elaine’s lunch it was like a lightbulb going off in my head and I knew I had to incorporate them into an actual meal. I was house-sitting for my aunt the first time I made this salad and I loved it so much I made it again the following week. Admittedly, I ate a good bunch of the pistachios I shelled before I remembered that they were supposed to go into this salad…..
The spiciness of the butternut squash is offset by the creaminess of the avocado and the pistachios and seeds provide a lovely crunch that offers a nice contradiction to the softer elements. Additionally, pistachios assist with dietary fibre besides already contributing to your protein intake and YIPPEE they are heart-healthy! Always a nice side benefit for me.
Before moving on to the recipe, I am really excited to let you all know that I am co-hosting with Angie for Fiesta Friday#143 this week along with Judi from Cooking with Aunt Juju. As your co-host, I will be visiting and commenting on your Fiesta Friday posts as well as selecting features. As I’ve mentioned a few times already, Fiesta Friday is a great way to get to know new bloggers and it’s a lot of fun. Everyone is really nice, supportive and helpful. I’ve gotten to know some great bloggers from this event that runs from Friday to Tuesday every week, so even if you aren’t ready to Fiesta on Friday, you’ve another few days to get yourself in the party mood. If you decide to join Fiesta Friday, you need to make sure to link your blog post to Fiesta Friday as well as my blog and Cooking with Aunt Juju. That way we get a pingback and know that someone knew has joined the party. Also, so other readers and partiers know how to find your blog, tag your post with “Fiesta Friday”. For more information and to link to Fiesta Friday , click on the below image. Remember to be eligible for Features, you need to adhere to the guidelines.
Warm Spicy Butternut Squash Couscous Salad with Pistachios
- approximately ½ cup uncooked couscous
- 50-60 roasted and salted pistachios, shelled
- 26 black olives, sliced into thirds
- 1½-2 avocados, chopped
- approximately ½ cup washed spinach, excess water squeezed out.
- roasted butternut squash seeds
- approximately half the Spicy Marinated Butternut Squash
- a drizzle of the leftover oil from the marinated butternut squash (optional)
- Boil a kettle of water/pot of water.
- Meanwhile, place the desired amount of couscous into a heat-proof bowl and cover with the water once boiled and a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt. Leave for 5-10 minutes until the water to be absorbed. The couscous will swell as it absorbs the water.*
- Once ready, fluff with a fork and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the pistachios, olives, avocado, seeds, and spinach in a large bowl and mix together.
- Add the cooked couscous tossing gently.
- Add the butternut squash:
- For warm salad, add the butternut squash immediately after cooking and gently toss with the other ingredients and serve immediately.
- If you don’t want a warm salad, let the butternut squash and seeds cool first before adding to the other ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.
- As you mix the hot butternut squash through the salad, the spinach will wilt slightly.
- If you want it to be a little spicier or if you find the couscous a little dry, add some of the leftover oil.
*I don’t actually measure my couscous so this is approximation. I just pour it directly into a pot and judge visually if it’s enough. I over estimated today and I had extras, so I suggest mixing all your ingredients in (minus the squash) and adding the couscous tablespoon by tablespoon until you judge you’ve enough for two. If you have leftover couscous you could serve with some pesto.