With its heavenly–and earthy–star anise garnish and its anise-and-sage dressing, this simple and flavorful side-dish seems made for the winter holiday table.
My Cous-Cous with Grilled Butternut Squash feeds two birds with one cracker (as opposed to killing two birds with one stone!) because it is both starch and vegetable in one. And, never fear, you won’t find me outside grilling in December (or any time for that matter), as I am an indoor grill pan devotee and that’s all you need for grilling the squash–my trustee pan is made by Lodge–though you could roast it instead.
If sumac is new to you, you should be able to find it in Mediterranean markets. It is a beautiful golden reddish color and imparts a mellow tartness. If you can’t find it, feel free to substitute just a little lemon zest, but its unique flavor makes it worth the hunt. I love nutty undertones this time of year, and the sesame provides just the right hint, and is especially compatible with the sumac and anise.
If you have the green part of your menu taken care of, this would be an excellent addition. (And, if you don’t, stay tuned, as greens are coming up!)