Sunday, August 28, 2011

Perfectly Minty Couscous with Beets

Laughter and mayhem. A happy-for-the-first-time-today, teething toddler; early evening sunlight streaming in across the table, and there sits a simple, nutritious, amazingly tasty dish -- that I didn't make!

My idea of a Perfect Sunday Night Supper.

This may be the real reason why I started keeping this blog. We stumble across dishes like this every so often; Josh will comment, "We should save this recipe." I say, "Yeah. I'll write it down." Enter distraction, and I have exactly 0 recipes written down prior to the beginning of this blog.

Josh made this tonight. He is such a great cook! Why is it amazing that this dish is so tasty? Well... Darn. I have a confession to make. (I am not a fan of beets.) I want to love the beet. I really do. We received more beets than I knew what to do with in Vermont, as participants in the Luna Bleu CSA (which I LOVED, and still miss to this day). Beets are hearty, and healthy, and red. "Eat the rainbow everyday," right? Dare I say they're even a bit trendy, at least within the gourmet, farm-to-table crowd?

Yes. I wish I loved the beet. But I don't. Yet, every once in a while, I come across a beet recipe that makes me reconsider this stance. Here is a good one, for example. Mint is a similar ingredient, for me: one that I love --in theory-- not necessarily in practice. It's overdone, or too much, or... something. It's just not usually all that I want it to be in a dish with "Mint" in its name.

Today, however, Josh presented me with a keeper on both fronts.

4 small to medium sized beets, roasted and chopped
1 lb. green beans, blanched and cut into 1 inch pieces
3/4 c. Israeli (big pearl) couscous, cooked according to package instructions
1 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. mint, minced
1/3 c. Spanish olive oil
1/3 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese

Roast the beets. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush with olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast for an hour and a half, until easily pierced with a fork. Cool and remove skins. Chop.

Meanwhile, blanch the green beans -- cook 3-4 minutes in boiling water with a pinch of sugar, then dunk in icy water. Cook the couscous according to package.

Whisk the next 7 ingredients together. Pour over beets and green beans, top with feta.

A great dish to share. Potlucks, book clubs. People will say, "I usually hate beets!" Then they'll ask for the recipe. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to one day. It's also great warm.

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