Israeli Couscous Salad with Honey-Roasted Parsnips & Carrots

We’ve been doing a lot of salads around here lately, and it’s been a lot of the same thing over and over again… delicious versions of either our veggie Caesar salad over Romaine or my lemony arugula salad.  But after a while, 2 salad options get a bit tiring, but we still want salad.  So I got inspired.

The lovely Louise got me a copy of Alice Hart’s Vegetarian for my birthday.  And oh-my-goodness is it one of my favourite cookbooks ever.  There’s a whole chapter entitled “Big Salads” and of course I wanted to make everything in the book.  The first winner: “Giant couscous salad with preserved lemon and charmoula”.  I made it my way, based on what I had on hand, and what I like to eat, and it’s divine.

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Seriously, you have to try this.  You roast parsnips and carrots with honey and olive oil in a hot oven and lay them over Israeli couscous.  Yum.

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I was overjoyed to have an opportunity to use my favourite new-to-me treat: local raw honey from Nude Bee Honey.  I’ve got their blueberry and their wild, and love the unique flavours of each.  I used the wild honey here (from multiple sources), and it made the roasted carrots and parsnips trancendent!  (And they ship for free, by bicycle, to downtown Toronto!)  I simply cannot wait to try their starthistle and honeydew varietals! Don’t you just love their packaging?

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I love love love this Charmoula dressing (of course I’d love any dressing made with a whole bunch of fresh cilantro leaves).  It’s bright green and has these rich wintery flavours with the cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander.  Oh yes, I’m going to be putting this dressing on everything.  It’s fabulous here as both the dressing and as a topping mixed with Greek yogurt.

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In my veggie box this week I got a gorgeous living bunch of tatsoi greens.  So I had to include them in my salad!  I used them as the base on top of which I piled all of my other ingredients.  If you can’t get a hold of your own tatsoi greens, baby arugula would be a great substitute here.  We did that for second-day leftovers and it was awesome to get the peppery arugula bite.

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And somehow this doesn’t taste like ‘just a salad’ – it’s an amazing combination of flavours, and I will definitely be making it more often around here!  YUM.

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Israeli Couscous Salad with Honey-Roasted Parsnips & Carrots

Adapted from “Giant couscous salad with preserved lemon and charmoula” from Alice Hart’s Vegetarian, Serves 4

  • 500g parsnips
  • 500g carrots
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 150g Israeli couscous
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 preserved lemons, diced
  • 2 c. tatsoi greens or fresh baby arugula
  • 1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. Charmoula Dressing (recipe below)
  • 200g Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. hemp seeds

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Peel your carrots and parsnips, and halve lengthwise.  Cut into sticks around 7cm (3″) long.

In a small bowl combine the olive oil and the honey.  Toss the carrots and parsnips in the olive oil and honey mixture.

Line a baking sheet with foil, and lay out the carrots and parsnips in a single layer.  Roast at 400F for 40-45 minutes, until the veggies have caramelised.

While the veggies are roasting, prepare the rest of your salad ingredients.  Bring a pot or kettle of water to a boil.  In a medium pot, toast the Israeli couscous over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water and stir well.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until the water has been absorbed and the Israeli couscous is al dente.

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In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, preserved lemons and 1/4. cup of the charmoula dressing.  Toss with the Israeli couscous.

In a separate small bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt with the charmoula dressing.  It will be lovely and green.

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Once your veggies are done roasting, create your plate:

1) Layer your plates with the arugula

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2) Add the charmoula-dressed couscous

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3) Layer on the roasted parsnips and carrots

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4) Top with a big scoop of the Greek yogurt and sprinkle with hemp seeds.

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Enjoy in good health!

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Charmoula Dressing
Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted cumin seeds
  • juice & zest of 1 lemon
  • 60 ml (1/4 c.) olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • black pepper

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until you have a smooth paste.  If the dressing is too thick, thin it out with a little more oil, a tablespoon at a time.  Keep in an airtight container (a mason jar works well) in the fridge for up to a week.

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Categories: Main Course, Salad, Sauce, Vegetarian

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3 Comments on “Israeli Couscous Salad with Honey-Roasted Parsnips & Carrots”

  1. December 19, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    This looks like my perfect meal!! love the idea of all the different textures and flavours

  2. January 31, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    This was really good adapted from your adaption of the original recipe :) (can you imagine the drama when I realized I was out of cumin seeds??? I subbed with ground coriander and crushed pink peppercorns). I think it’s the recipe that keeps adapting itself :)

    • February 6, 2012 at 9:01 am #

      Cumin drama!!!!

      I love all the adaptations – thanks, as always, for sharing!

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