Irene's Couscous with Butternut Pumpkin, Fennel and Walnut (vegetarian)

This substantial salad makes a lovely autumn/winter lunch or dinner. It can be served warm or cold. You can replace the fennel with leek.

Serve 4


1 butternut pumpkin (about 700g-1kg), peel, halve, deseed and cut into 1.5cm chunks

4-5 tbp olive oil

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, reserve any feathery fronds

1 red onion, cut into wedges

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

50g walnuts

1 cup couscous

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup Karikaas mature gouda cheese, grated, plus extra to serve

Small handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Salt & pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Scatter the pumpkin chunks in a large roasting tin. Drizzle 2 tbp of the olive oil. Toss and season well with salt & pepper. Put into the oven to roast.

2. Meanwhile, cut the fennel lengthways into long wedges.

3. After 15 minutes, add the fennel and garlic to the roasting tin and turn with the pumpkin and another tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for a further 20 minutes or so, until the vegetables are soft and starting to caramelise around the edges. Then scatter over the walnuts and cook for another 8-10 minutes. The veg should be tender and caramelised, and the walnuts lightly toasted and fragrant. Keep warm.

4. While the veg are roasting, cook the couscous according to packet instructions.

5. Toss the couscous with the roasted veg, walnuts and any oil from the roasting tin, the rest of the olive oil, the lemon juice, grated cheese, parsley and any fennel fronds. Taste and season with salt & pepper. Shave over some more cheese and serve warm.

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