A few years ago I was to the point where every time I thought of the word “salad”, I thought I was going to shoot myself. When I first went vegan, I ate nothing but salad for the first 6 months because I had no idea what to eat. However, I started getting creative and realized there are endless possibilities when it comes to salad…and they don’t all have to have the leafy green stuff in them! Here is a great recipe for an autumn-style couscous salad that is perfect for all seasons. Serve it cold or at room temp, any time of year. Its also a great side dish to take to a party because its got a little something for everyone in it!
First, put the dry couscous in a bowl and boil the water. Pour the boiling water over the couscous and make sure its all covered by the water and then cover the bowl with a lid and set aside for a few minutes. You can come back to this later.
In a hot oven (I usually put it at about 350 F (180 C), place your pine nuts on a pan and roast them until they are golden brown and have a distinctive nutty scent. While you are doing this, place a little olive oil in a saute pan and saute your leeks and garlic (the leeks should be sliced thinly so that they are little rings). Set aside when finished. Clean the butternut squash and chop the pieces into small cubes, about 1/2 in by 1/2 in. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are soft, but not mushy.
With a fork, toss the couscous. Add the berries, raisins, pine nuts, leeks/garlic, parsley, squash, and season with salt and pepper. Then, sprinkle some red wine vinegar (champagne vinegar works beautifully too!) and add a bit of olive oil and stir. Make sure you mix it well so that the dressing mixes with every part of the salad. Add a bit more if you think it needs it. Store in the fridge - this will keep for up to 5 days!