Maftoul, or Palestinian couscous, makes a great vegan or vegetarian filling as it cooks quickly, absorbs additional dressings or sauces, and tastes great with any addition of herbs, vegetables, fruits nuts, or legumes. While I use the traditional Palestinian hand rolled maftoul using wheat, you can substitute any grain for this dish, like bulgur wheat or even quinoa for a gluten free option. You can also use spinach instead of swiss chard, or golden raisins instead of cranberries.
Butternut Squash Stuffed with Maftoul
- 2 butternut squash
- Equal Exchange Olive Oil for brushing on squash
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup Equal Exchange Maftoul
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tbsp Equal Exchange Olive Oil
- 1 large bunch swiss chard chopped
- dash cumin
- Onion salt
- 1 tbsp fresh mint finely chopped
- ½ cup chickpeas
- ¼ cup cranberries
- 2 tbsp Equal Exchange Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp orange juice
Slice each butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Season with salt and pepper, and place face down on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes or until browned and soft.
In a saucepan, add the maftoul and vegetable broth, then season with a dash of onion salt and cumin. Boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
In a skillet, heat up the olive oil, and add the swiss chard. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the swiss chard wilts, then add the garlic and saute about 2 minutes more. Add the chickpeas, cranberries and mint, and season with salt and pepper.
Whisk together the orange juice and 2 tbsp olive oil. Gently combine with the maftoul mixture.
Now for assembly, you can core out the butternut squashes just enough so you can place the maftoul mixture inside.
Recipe & photo courtesy of Blanche, feastinthemiddleeast.com.