Vegetable Pearl Couscous

On April 27, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is a dish that can be used to clear out your vegetable drawer.  Any vegetable will do fine in this and it is a great way to use some of the vegetables you just didn’t get to or that you found at the Farmers’ Market but didn’t have  a specific plan for.  Here I used a few items I still had left after making a few other dishes during the week.

I also find that pearl couscous has a great texture and better flavor than traditional durum wheat couscous. Pearl Couscous is also known as Israel Couscous. It has a soft, almost spongy feel. What I like most about it is it’s versatility too. It can be used for soups or eaten with just some fried onions and tomatoes as an excellent side dish.

The recipe here is a variation on one I found on the VegKitchen blog.  You can see the original recipe here: Seven-Vegetable Couscous.

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Vegetable Pearl Couscous
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups pearl couscous cooked using package’s directions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 red onion, thick chop
1/2 red cabbage, thick chop
1 head of broccoli, chopped
2 zucchini, diced bite-sized
1 medium turnip, diced bite-sized
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup golden raisins

Cook the couscous according to the product packaging’s directions. I used Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Couscous but there are other options too.

For the vegetables, heat a saute pan on medium high heat with the olive oil. Add the onions and turmeric. Saute for a couple minutes until onions soften.  Add the turnip, broccoli, and zucchini and the rest of the spices.  Cook for about 5-8 minutes until the turnip is firm but a fork can puncture it easily.  Finally add the cabbage, chickpeas, and raisins and cook for another couple minutes. If you need more olive oil feel free to add a tablespoon to coat everything.

Plate the couscous first and add some vegetables on top. Drizzle some olive oil to finish. Enjoy.

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Lentils with Turnip, Leek, and Carrots

On January 30, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This dish is adapted from a recipe found on Barefoot Contessa’s website.

Last week a friend shared how she made the original version along with some grilled salmon.  I love lentils and had been looking for something new to do with them. Plus I really like the use of a turnip, which is a neglected yet delicious vegetable.

I served this dish as a main course and added some sautéed bok choy  as a side to give the meal some added texture and flavor.

Lentils with Turnip, Leek and Carrots
Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup good olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 carrots, scrubbed and ½-inch-diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup green lentils
1 medium red onion, diced
1 white turnip, peeled and cut into small bite-sized cubes
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan, add the leek and carrots, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute and set aside.

Cook the lentils in 4 cups of water with the onion, turnip, and ground cloves in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender. Drain any little amount of water left in the saucepan.  Now add the leek and carrot mixture to the saucepan with the lentil mixture.  Add butter and combine until melted. Turn off heat.

Whisk together the ¼ cup of olive oil, the mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the vinaigrette to the lentils saucepan.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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