April 13, 2011

Roasted Veggie Couscous with Ricotta Salata

I have a new obsession: beets! Some of you who have known me for a long time are probably shocked to hear that come out of my mouth (er, fingers). But it's true. And I blame this experience and this dish as the start of the obsession.

Just this past weekend I found myself randomly thinking about beets and how I would have to go to the grocery to get some. (Of course when I was at the store, I managed to buy some fennel, too, because that is another obsession that just won't die!) I also had some ricotta salata in the fridge that was just begging to be used, so I decided to make roasted vegetables with Israeli couscous and ricotta salata. It was delicious! (If you have never had ricotta salata, it is worth trying. The best way I can describe it, is that it is like feta, but not as salty and not as creamy. It doesn't really melt, so you get always get a bite of cheese that has integrity!)

Roasted Veggie Couscous with Ricotta Salata
Serves 2-3


3 medium sized golden beets, peeled and diced (a regular vegetable peeler makes quick work of the beets' skin - much easier than peeling after it is roasted whole)
1 large fennel bulb, diced
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup uncooked Israeli couscous
Handful flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
Couple ounces ricotta salata

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, toss the beets and fennel with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven until tender, about 30-40 minutes, depending on how large you chopped the veggies.

3. Meanwhile, cook the couscous according to package directions. Mix in the parsley and taste for seasoning.

4. Transfer the couscous and the vegetables to a serving dish and combine. Top with crumbled ricotta salata.

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