Roasted Corn and Butternut Squash Couscous Salad

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Couscous can be very dull and you need to add a lot of flavour to make it into something wonderful. This dish has sweetness from both the squash and the corn plus bags of freshness from the mint and coriander. We like our food spicy so you can also add chill like I did to give an extra punch but it can be left out. Chickpeas are added for extra protein but green lentils would also work.

This could be served on its own or as part of a vegan mezze platter. It could also be put inside a wrap with some red pepper hummus from the previous recipe. You could add a handful of toasted walnuts for extra texture.

Makes a large bowlful
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes

Ingredients
150g couscous
Half a small butternut squash
Half a tin of chickpeas
2 ears of fresh corn
A handful of fresh coriander chopped
A handful of fresh mint chopped
Half a clove of garlic
A tablespoon of honey mustard dressing
A teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (optional)
A spring onion finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste?

Cut the butternut squash in half and place on a baking tray with the corn ears. Roast in the oven at 170 Celsius. Remove the corn after about 10 minutes and remove the squash after a total of about 30 minutes. Leave to cool.

Place the couscous in a pan and add just enough boiling water to cover the couscous. Leave with a lid on for 10 minutes then remove the lid and stir with a fork. Put to one side.

When all the ingredients are cool, place the couscous in a large bowl and add the chickpeas, mint, garlic, coriander and onion. Chop the squash into bitesize pieces and remove the corn from the cobs. Add the squash, corn and dressing to the couscous mixture and season to taste. Add the chilli if using. Chill before serving.

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Spicy Red Pepper Hummus Filled Jackets and Fresh Corn

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You cannot beat jacket potatoes baked in the oven. The microwave versions really are not the same. I roasted the corn and red pepper at the same time as well as some butternut squash for later to make it worth putting the oven on. Fresh corn is plentiful in Turkish grocery shops in Berlin at the moment. I bought 6 ears for 2 euros.

For this hummus recipe I used half tofu, half chickpeas. It creates a very velvety consistency that you do not get with chickpeas alone.This hummus, corn combination could be put inside a wrap with extra chickpeas and slices of tofu.

Serves 4
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour
Ingredients
4 medium potatoes for baking
A tin of chickpeas
Half a packet of firm tofu
A red pepper
2 ears of fresh corn
1 spring onion
1 small chilli
Half a clove of garlic
A tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
A handful of fresh coriander chopped

Prick the potatoes with a fork and place on a tray in the oven with the red pepper and the ear of corn. Remove the corn and pepper after about 15 minutes. To make the hummus, place the chickpeas, tofu, red pepper, garlic, chilli, oil and coriander into the blender. Blend into a smooth paste, shaking the blender and stopping to stir if needed. You can also add a little water to get the mixture moving. Season to taste.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, cut crosses in them and spoon in the hummus. Remove the corn from the cob and sprinkle over the potato. Garnish with a little chopped coriander, spring onion and chilli.

Roasted Corn and Pepper Salad with Black Beans

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Yesterday, my friend Claudia gave me some fresh, green peppers of the pointy variety (like large chillis). We don’t have a special word for these in the UK. We had the peppers barbecued last night while sitting in her garden, under a huge walnut tree, in idyllic surroundings, yet right in the centre of Berlin.

I already had some fresh corn in the fridge as well as the coriander and a tin of black beans in the cupboard so it was easy to throw this together.

This is a complete meal but would also go well inside a tortilla with some guacamole or pumpkin hummus. You could also add fried slices of tofu or toasted peanuts for a crunch.

Serves 6 as a side dish or 2 as a main course
Preparation time 12 minutes. Cooking time 30-40 minutes

Ingredients
2 green peppers or 3 large, green chilli peppers
2 whole corns on the cob
A tin of black beans well rinsed
6 cherry tomatoes halved
4 spring onions (scallions) finely sliced
Plenty of chopped fresh coriander, mint and basil
A tablespoon of olive oil and lemon salad dressing
A small red chilli chopped very finely
Salt and black pepper to taste

Place the corn and peppers in an oven-proof dish and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. The peppers should be very soft with the skin starting to char. Leave to cool. Remove the corn from the
cobs and place in a large bowl. Chop the peppers roughly and add to the corn with the beans, tomatoes and onions. Stir in 2 handfuls of the mixed, fresh herbs and drizzle over the dressing. Add the chilli and stir well. Season to taste. Place in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.