Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter CSA Cooking: Squash Couscous Cakes over Kale

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I'm getting kind of sick of squash. Let me tell you, I love the stuff, but I do think I've eaten enough of it this fall so that I may be turning orange. I shouldn't be sick of it. It's good for you, versatile, and can hold up an entire meal on its own. This year, so far, I've made soups, salad, pasta and a thousand sides with the gourds. I've been warned about hitting this point in your Winter CSA. There is a lot of squash and a lot of kale. Luckily, I love both, but sometimes, it's time for a break.

I could just stop, but I'm not a waster. In the big bowl on my kitchen counter there are several butternuts and a couple of other winter squashes that are staring me down. They will be prepared in some fashion or another. It was time to get a little bit creative for two reasons. The first is that I really didn't have a whole lot of food other than produce in the house. Second, I needed to do something new with the squash. So I stared into the depths of the pantry for a while to figure out with what I could pair a lonely acorn squash.

The homely and simply little couscous cake was born. A box of whole wheat couscous, some roasted squash and some cheddar cheese came together for this one. It's a cheap meal, but filling and a great lunch you could have at home or on the go.

Squash Couscous Cakes over Kale
Serves: 4

1 acorn squash (any kind will do)
2 cups prepared whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 bunch kale, leafs cut from stems and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

First set your oven to 350 degrees. Cut that squash in half, scoop out the seeds and the stringy parts. Place halves face-down in a baking dish coated in cooking spray and pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes until fork-tender. Scoop squash flesh out of each of the halves and set aside.

While your squash is roasting, prepare your couscous according to the directions (I made enough for two cups worth, or two servings this recipe calls for). Once done, set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine squash, couscous, cheddar, onion, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Once combined, add slightly beaten egg and stir to coat the mixture. In a large skillet, heat 1.5 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  Form mixture into small cakes and fry in heated oil on each side about 5-7 minutes until each side is browned. Transfer to a plate, cover to keep warm and set aside.

In that same skillet, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale to the skillet, salt and pepper and cook until kale cooks down a little bit, but is still slightly crunchy.

Serve cakes over kale and enjoy! Pin It


Jason Phelps said...

Squash can get a little tired but with so many ways to prepare it, it takes some time.

I like this recipe mostly because the presentation hides the squash!


UrMomCooks said...

Luv all "cakes"! It's a perfect way to eat veggies when you want a little something more!

Amy said...

These cakes sound delicious! I am always looking for new ways to prepare squash! The kale is a nice choice to serve it with :)!

Mary said...

Oh wow! That looks SOOOO GOOD! I have never made Kale like this, but I do love it, I can't wait to give it a try. Thanks for the post!

Megan said...

I can see getting sick of squash by now... but this is a super creative way to prepare it. I love couscous and hopefully I'll find some time to give these a try!

Amy said...

These cakes sound delicious! I am always looking for new ways to prepare squash! The kale is a nice choice to serve it with :)!