Maftoul with Butternut Squash and Lemon Paste
Adapted from a recipe by David Leibowitz
- 1/2 pounds (700g) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and minced
- 1 3/4 cup (280g) Israeli couscous or Italian pepe-style pasta
- 1 small cinnamon stick
2 TB Lemon Paste
- 1/2 cup (60g) golden raisins
- 1/4 cup (30g) dried cherries or cranberries, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (60g) chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (see Note)
- Preheat the oven to 450F (230C).
Cut the squash into 1/4-inch (1 cm) cubes and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a seasoning of salt in a large baking dish or pan.
Cook on the upper rack of the oven until the squash is just tender, about 15 minutes. (Don’t overcook.)
While the squash is cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and cook the onions over medium-high heat with a bit of salt until translucent.
As the squash and onions are finished, scrape them into a large bowl.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the maftoul with the cinnamon stick until tender, about 10 minutes or as per instructions on the box of maftoul.
While the maftoul cooks, add the lemon paste to the squash, then press the reserved flesh through a strainer to extract the liquid, and add the liquid to the squash.
7. Drain, but don’t rinse the maftoul. Discard the cinnamon stick.
8. Add the maftoul to the bowl of squash, then add the raisins, cherries or cranberries (if using), ground cinnamon, parsley, and toasted pine nuts.