Jennifer Irvine's spiced butternut and couscous salad

Spiced Butternut & Couscous Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6 (392°F)

1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large dice
3 tbsp. rose harissa
1 tsp. groundnut oil
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. ground coriander
400g (14.2 oz) can chickpeas, drained
160g (5.6 ounces) barley couscous
320ml (10.24 fl. ounces) vegetable stock, hot
1 tbsp. finely chopped mint
1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander
50g (1.67 ounces) raspberries
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. water
1 tsp. clear honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cucumber
1 pomegranate
200g (7 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
small handful pine nuts

1. Tip the squash into a large bowl, add the harissa and toss to coat. Arrange on a non-stick baking tray and roast in the oven for 15–20 minutes until soft.

2. While the squash is roasting, prepare the couscous. Heat the groundnut oil in a non-stick pan, add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until soft but not colored. Add the garlic, cumin and ground coriander and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Add the chickpeas and couscous and pour over the hot stock. Cover with cling film and leave to soak. After 10 minutes, fork through the couscous and stir in the finely chopped mint and coriander.

4. Place the raspberries, vinegar, water, honey and olive oil in a food processor or blender and blitz to make a dressing. Pour the dressing into a small jug or bowl.

5. Halve the cucumber lengthways, scoop out the seeds and cut into crescent-shaped pieces. Halve the pomegranate and, using a large spoon, tap the skin to release the kernels. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, spinach and cucumber together.

To serve:
Arrange the spinach salad on a large serving platter. Top with the couscous, scatter over the squash and sprinkle with the pomegranate kernels and pine nuts. Serve with the dressing on the side.

Jennifer’s tip: Rose harissa is a North African spice paste containing rose petals which are added to balance the fiery heat. It is available in some supermarkets or online.