Instagram couscous salad

Roasted beet & turnip Israeli couscous salad
Beets, turnips, Israeli couscous. #nofilter

Believe it or not, there’s no filter on that shot.

A couple fresh-pulled beets and their greens (which, for these Bull’s Blood beets, ought to be called, “magentas”) transformed a delicious but rather white salad of roasted Harukei turnips and Israeli couscous into a bowl of impossibly pink pearls. Easy, light, and bright.

Instagram couscous salad

  • 1 bunch of Hakurei or other small, white turnips, with greens
  • 4-5 small beets, with greens
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of chopped red scallions, including green parts
  • juice from a small lemon
  • good olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Roast the roots

Preheat your oven to 425°. Trim the greens from the turnips and the beets, leaving an inch or so of the stems. Leave the “tails” on the root ends, too, or you’ll have a beet-bloody mess before you’re ready for it. Wash the roots and toss them in a bowl with a few glugs of olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Wash the greens and set them aside for later.

Roast the roots for about 10 minutes, until the turnips are starting to brown and the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. If your beets and turnips are roughly the same size, they’ll cook at the same rate; if they’re not, you might need to roast one or the other for a bit longer.

Let the beets cool, then remove their skins. Some folks use a paring knife, but I think it’s just as easy to rub them off with a paper towel. It’s less messy, too.

Make the couscous

While the beets and turnips cool, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the couscous and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain (just make sure the holes in your colander aren’t bigger than the couscous). Let the pasta cool.

Sautée the greens

Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Add the greens, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Sautée just until the greens are wilted – shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Transfer them from the hot pan to a large bowl to cool.

Mix it up

Dice the turnips and beets. Add them – and the chopped scallions – to the bowl with the greens. Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice, and dress with more olive oil. Toss, taste, and adjust the seasonings.

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