Family table

Fall squash with peppers and couscous

(George Boomer for The Boston Globe)
October 28, 2009

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Serves 4

Amber cup squash looks like a miniature pumpkin. It requires some work to seed and peel, but you get a meaty flesh that makes a fine vegetarian supper. In this recipe, adapted from “The Farmers’ Market Guide to Vegetables,’’ the flesh is simmered with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and yellow and red bell peppers to create a rich, flavorful stew to ladle over couscous. (You can also use butternut squash, already peeled and seeded if you’re in a hurry.) Before serving, sprinkle a pungent blend of finely chopped fresh chili peppers, parsley, and lemon rind to add a crisp and savory tang. Chickpeas round out the main course.

3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 pounds amber cup squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
3 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 1/4 cups couscous
1 1/3 cups boiling water
2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large mild green chili pepper, such as ancho or Anaheim, seeded and finely chopped
1 hot red chili pepper, seeded and chopped
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1. In a large flameproof casserole over medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, and yellow and red peppers. Stir well, cover the pan, and cook for 15 minutes.

2. Stir in the squash, tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Continue cooking for 25 minutes or until the squash is tender.

3. Meanwhile, in heatproof bowl, place couscous, a sprinkle of salt, and the boiling water. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Stir the chickpeas and remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil into the couscous.

4. In a small bowl, combine the green and red chilies, lemon rind, and parsley. Add to squash mixture. Remove from heat and stir lightly.

5. Divide the couscous among 4 deep bowls. Ladle the squash mixture on top. Sprinkle with the chili garnish. Allison Boomer