Sunday, July 15, 2012

Recipe: Israeli Cous Cous Salad with Roast Golden Beets, Zucchini, and Goat Cheese

I live in south Louisiana, and it's hot.  The only time it's not hot is when it rains; then after the rain it's a steam bath.  On the upside of this dreary weather, my skin is not dry and the produce at the market is amazing.  I live for the farmers market! I get the pleasure of shopping for my business and hand picking all my fruits and vegetables. At home in the evening, after cooking in the shop all day, I hardly want to turn the oven on.  This type of salad is great to make ahead of time.  I roast the beets and keep them in the refrigerator.  The salad comes together fairly quickly and is a great vegetarian main dish or can serve as a side.  I've been trying to eat pasta only on the weekends, eating mostly seafood and vegetables during the week.  I'm working on a new blog which will chronicle the way I eat at home a bit more accurately.  Gourmet Girl will remain and I will post all the yummy things I make at work in my business, Gourmet Girls.  I'll update the new website, Gourmet Girl - Healthy Every Day soon... stay posted!

Israeli cous cous is a large version of regular cous cous, basically a little grain of wheat which is then rolled around in semolina flour.  What I love in particular about Israeli cous cous in this recipe is that it's cooked in chicken broth and takes on all its flavor.  Instead of starting out with a rather bland noodle, you get a tasty little morsel. It's so hot in south Louisiana right now that salads are what's on my menu.  I will say that I did try this while is was still warm and it was very good.  This is the kind of salad you can keep in the icebox and snack on (on the weekends only, of course).

I mix the goat cheese into the salad while still warm, which melts the cheese and evenly distributes the flavor.  If you prefer the goat cheese in chunks, cool all the ingredients before combining them.  I used a light tasting French vinaigrette and added extra flavor by using fresh lemon-thyme.

Israeli Cous Cous Salad with Roast Golden Beets and Goat Cheese

2 cups Israeli Cous Cous
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon-thyme leaves
2 cups cubed roasted beets
1 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 cup French Vinaigrette, (my recipe is under the watermelon salad post in the index)
4 oz. goat cheese
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper

1. Place the cous cous and chicken broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to simmer and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated.

2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.

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