At that same Tour de France potluck last week, our host Ben made up a great dish consisting of beets, carrots, dill, and Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (Israeli couscous, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa). On Tuesday, as I was roasting up some vegetables from the garden, I decided to use Ben’s dish as a basis for design. I roasted three kinds of beets – Early Wonder (deep red), Golden, and Chiogga (red and white stripes).
I also roasted some carrots and green beans, and cooked up the beet greens. It turned out very colorful and tasty. The red beets bleed into the couscous a bit, so by day three it was quite pink! I also used some dill from the garden, which has started to flower.
On a completely unrelated note, yesterday we picked the first ears of corn! They didn’t quite develop uniformly plump kernels, so we ended up just eating the cobs on the spot without cooking them. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had corn that fresh! (Corn is something else that would go well in the beet couscous.)
Roasted Beet, Carrot and Israeli Couscous
6-8 beets, approx. same size (larger beets should be cut into similar-size pieces)
10 small-medium carrots, cut into similar sized pieces
Beet greens, stalks removed (could also use chard or kale)
Large handful or two green beans, ends snapped off
1/2 package Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (or 1 cup Israeli couscous, prepared with vegetable broth)
Balsamic vinegar, several splashes
Salt/pepper to taste
Handful dill, chopped
Preheat oven to 400. Toss the beets in olive oil/salt/pepper, then spread them onto a baking sheet. Golf-ball-ish sized beets usually take ~50 minutes. After 15-20 minutes, toss the carrots in olive oil/salt/pepper and add them onto the baking sheet (they usually take ~30 min). When you have 20 minutes left, toss the green beans in olive oil/salt/pepper and add them onto the baking sheet too. Once all vegetables are finished, allow them to cool.
Prepare couscous per directions. Once it is ready, put it into a large bowl. You can use the same saucepan to steam the beet greens – just put a little water in the bottom, add the greens and a lid, and heat over medium heat for a few minutes until they wilt. Drain and chop into small pieces, then add to the couscous.
When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. Slice beets and carrots into bite-sized pieces, and slice the green beans in 2-3 pieces. Mix beets and carrots into the couscous mixture, along with a few splashes of balsamic vinegar and the chopped dill. Taste, and add salt/pepper or more balsamic/dill as neessary.