Recipe: Couscous With Vegetables and Yogurt

  • Updated: July 30, 2014 - 1:45 PM

Couscous With Beets, Greens and Garlic Yogurt

Serves 4.

Note: Grains transform a Greek mezze of beets and their greens into a main-course plate, topped with garlicky yogurt. Here, the couscous is soaked in cold water and the greens are simply massaged. Store-bought roasted and peeled beets are used (to keep the oven turned off), and the dish is served at room temperature. But you can certainly cook the couscous (or any other grain) by more traditional methods, sauté the greens and cook your own beets; serve that version warm. Keep in mind that the couscous needs at least 45 minutes to absorb the vegetable broth and can soak overnight in the refrigerator, where it can keep for up to 3 days. The massaged greens can be refrigerated for up to 4 or 5 days; don’t add the lemon juice until just before serving. Adapted from “The Simple Art of Vegetarian Cooking,” by Martha Rose Shulman.

• 1 c. whole-wheat couscous (may substitute coarse bulgur)

• 1 c. no-salt-added or homemade vegetable broth or water

• 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 bunches Swiss chard, beet greens or a combination (about 12 oz.)

2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves, dill or parsley leaves, or a combination, divided

• 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, divided

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided

• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste

1 c. whole-milk Greek-style yogurt (may substitute low-fat or nonfat)

• 2 garlic clove, finely chopped

• 1 lb. cooked and peeled beets, cut into 1/2-in. cubes

• 3 tbsp. chopped walnuts, for garnish


Combine the couscous, broth or water and 1 teaspoon oil in a medium bowl. Cover and let sit for at least 45 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate overnight. (If using coarse bulgur, it will be ready after about 90 minutes and can also refrigerate overnight.) When ready to serve, fluff the couscous with a fork.

Strip the greens from their stems; discard the stems or reserve for another use. Rinse and dry the leaves thoroughly, then thinly slice them, transferring them to a mixing bowl as you work.

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