Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall CousCous

Once upon a time in the land of Buckhead, there was a place called Eatzi's.

And at that Eatzi's one could buy fresh baked bread, wine (with an instant chiller if it were in need of chilling), flowers, fruit, salad greens, cheeses, entrees, custom made sandwiches, deli meats, and items from the big glass cases. Like what, you ask? Like tomato and tortellini salad. Fresh hummus, two varieties at least. Flank steak. Roast beef. Grilled chicken. Grilled or poached salmon. Meatballs, turkey or beef. Caprese salad. And in the latter part of the year, Fall Couscous.

And, at special times of the year, Eatzi's would take your paper or plastic and your list and provide you with a time. You would return at the appointed hour and pick up your Turkey+sweet potatoes+rolls+squash casserole or Lamb+peas+potatoes or Goose+mashed potatoes+green salad or whatever you had requested of them.

You would return home, dish it up in your dishes and add Aunt Ethel's apple pie, or Uncle Ewell's mint juleps or whatever custom touches you preferred and your family ate and was full.

And it was very good.

But Fall Couscous. was. the. best.

One day, the door to Eatzi's would not open. Someone said that Eatzi's in a faraway place had overreached. They were gone, never to return. Along with the Fall couscous.

What to do about Fall Couscous? Google saved the day.

First, assemble the ingredients: butternut squash, parsley, EVOO, pine nuts, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon, one onion, golden raisins and preserved lemon. And the couscous.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Peel and dice a 1.5 pound butternut squash into 1/4 inch dice. Toss in 1 tbsp olive oil and roast for 15 minutes.

Dice the onion and saute in 1 tbsp olive oil until golden ( I like to let it get a little caramelized).

Toast the pine nuts - 3 minutes in the oven after taking out the squash and turning off the heat usually does just right.

Chop the parsley as finely as you can. I can't, I'm not good at that. But the finer the better. About a cup of chopped parsley.

Make the couscous (1 cup water + 1 cup couscous + 1 tsp EVOO) per the package directions but add 1 stick of cinnamon to the water before boiling.

Squeeze juice of 1 preserved lemon (usually in quarters and costing a fortune but you could make your own, but that's another story) into a small dish. Then chop the lemon peel finely and add to the juice. To this add 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Stir in 2 tbsp EVOO.

Remove the cinnamon stick and fluff couscous. Combine the vegetables, 1/2 cup golden raisins, the couscous, the EVOO/lemon/cinnamon mixture and toss together.

And they all lived happily ever after.

The end.


  1. You have made me very hungry! Everything sounded so delicious. I have not ventured down the stairs this morning even though it is 11:00 AM so I have not tasted any food yet today and I will have to go soon now that you have tempted me with such delicacies. Alas, I have nothing so yummy in my pantry or fridge. The black box sabotaged me and now I must stop and go eat.

  2. When do we EAT!!!!!! It looks beautiful.

    I tried to call you back last night but you must have been out with the dogs . . . then I got involved with watching, and falling asleep during, the debate.

    I met Holly Hughes (with Carter) at Rathbun's Steaks last evening -- no food -- just a drink and conversation. It is so cool .............. we must go!!




Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin