Mushroom & Pumpkin Couscous
A true celebration of autumn ingredients, the mushrooms and sage in this dish give it a real depth of flavour.
- Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 250ml of warm water. Allow to soak for 5-10 minutes until softened.
- Strain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Remove the tough stalks form the shiitake and discard. Then, slice the mushrooms into strips.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan. Add the pumpkin, garlic, sage and fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes, add the couscous and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Mix the miso bouillon paste into the mushroom soaking liquid until dissolved, then pour it into the couscous mix along with the lemon juice and zest. Stir briefly, add a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then turn off the stove, place a lid on the pan and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir the couscous to break up any large chunks and drizzle over the remaining olive oil. Serve garnished with fried sage leaves, if desired.
You can also make this dish with a combination of dried mushrooms and fresh mushrooms. Try halving the quantity of dried mushrooms and adding fried wild mushrooms to the mixture at the same time as the miso bouillion.
Celia Plender is a freelance food writer and chef with experience in both Japan and the UK. She has written for publications including Time Out Magazine, channel4.com/4food, goodfoodchannel.co.uk and clearspring.co.uk.
Since returning from Japan, where she worked as a chef in a Tokyo kaiseki restaurant, she has devoted more and more of her time to Japanese cuisine. As she trained in the West, she is also fully conversant with European cuisine.
She is the proud editor of two cookbooks: Dashi and Umami, the Heart of Japanese Cuisine (Cross Media 2009) and Umami World Recipes, Filipino (Cross Media 2009).
In her food writing career she has written for various magazines and websites, including www.channel4.com/4Food, where she is currently Deputy Editor, www.goodfoodchannel.co.uk, Time Out Eating and Drinking Guides, www.Eat-Japan.com and www.clearspring.co.uk. She is also a member of the Guild of Food Writers.
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