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

Directions

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.

Pick up the greens by the fistful and squeeze/massage them, repeating until you work your way through the bowlful. Repeat until they turn darker green and silky, a few minutes. Toss them with 1 tablespoon chopped herbs, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and the lemon juice. Taste, and add lemon juice if needed.

Whisk together the yogurt, garlic and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.

Toss the beets with the remaining tablespoon of chopped herbs.

Divide the couscous among individual bowls or plates. Top each portion with, in the following order, the greens, the beets, dollops of the yogurt mixture and a sprinkling of walnuts. Serve right away.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 310 Fat 8 g Sodium 510 mg

Carbohydrates 53 g Saturated fat 2 g

Protein 14 g Cholesterol 5 mg Dietary fiber 7 g

Bulgur, Vegetable and Watercress Salad

Serves 6.

Note: This cool, refreshing grain-based salad, enlivened with a sesame-miso dressing, comes together quickly — and without heating up your kitchen. Keep in mind that the bulgur needs at least 90 minutes to absorb the broth or water and can be refrigerated overnight. The salad can be refrigerated, without the dressing or the avocado, for up to 5 days. Dress the salad and add the avocado just before serving. The sesame-miso dressing can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. From Joe Yonan.

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

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

• 3 c. no-salt-added, cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

• 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into small dice

• 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, each cut in half

• 1 green onion, trimmed and thinly sliced

• 1 tbsp. white miso paste

• 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

• 1/4 c. unseasoned rice vinegar

• 3 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 1 tbsp. honey

• 2 c. fresh watercress leaves

• Flesh of 1 avocado, cut into cubes

Directions

Combine the bulgur and broth or water in a medium bowl. Cover and let sit for at least 90 minutes at room temperature, or refrigerate overnight. (If using whole-wheat couscous, it will be ready after about 45 minutes but can also refrigerate overnight.) When ready to serve, fluff the bulgur with a fork. Add the chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes and scallion, and toss to incorporate.

Whisk together the miso, sesame oil, vinegar, vegetable oil and honey in a medium bowl. Pour all but 2 tablespoons over the bulgur mixture and toss to incorporate.

Divide the watercress leaves among salad plates or bowls. Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Mound some of the bulgur mixture on top of each portion, add the avocado and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 380 Fat 17 g Sodium 150 mg

Carbohydrates 50 g Saturated fat 2 g

Protein 12 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 13 g