Roasted Beets & Carrots with Couscous, Sunflower Seeds, Citrus, and Feta
(serves 4 to 6)
1 lb beets
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb carrots, cut into thick slices
1/2 lb onions, cut into chunks (keep them about the same size as your carrot chunks)
1/2 cup Citrus Vinaigrette, plus more if needed
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Champagne or white wine vinegar
Salt & freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup Israeli couscous [Hard white wheat berries]
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1 large sprig thyme [dried works well too]
1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes
1/2 cup salted roasted sunflower seeds [roast those pumpkin seeds from your pumpkin! and then dice them into sunflower seed sized chunks]
1 cup slightly packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Heat Oven to 450F.
Using a rasp-style grater, zest all the citrus into a bowl. Halve the fruit and squeeze all the juice into the same bowl to get 2/3 cup juice (fish out the seeds). Whisk in the honey, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and several twists of pepper.
Taste and adjust with more honey, vinegar, and salt and pepper, if needed, to make the flavor vibrant. Whisk in the olive oil a few drops at a time or put the juice mixture in a blender or food processor and drizzle in the oil while the machine is running; the machine method will make the vinaigrette creamier and emulsified. (This can store for up to 2 weeks in your fridge.)
Trim the top and bottom of the beets, peel them, and cut into bite-size chunks. Toss with a small glug of olive oil, season lightly with salt and black pepper, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Toss the carrots and onions with a glug of olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and add to the oven. Roast all the vegetables until tender and lightly browned, 12 o 15 minutes more. Pile the roasted vegetables into a bowl and toss with 1/2 cup Citrus Vinaigrette.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and add salt until it tastes like the sea. Add the couscous, garlic thyme and chili flakes. Cook according to the package directions. Drain and remove the thyme sprig and garlic clove. Let cool. [If using wheat berries, follow the same process but cook stove top for 1-2 hours.]
Add the couscous, sunflower seeds [or roasted pumpkin seeds], and cilantro to the vegetables and gently toss everything together. Taste and season with more vinaigrette, salt, black pepper, and chile flakes until the salad is nicely balanced and zingy. Crumble the feta over the top and serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
6-Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables, Joshua McFadden w/Martha Holmberg