This monthly cooking series features husband and wife team Barry and Kelley Courter.
5 beets sliced
3 carrots sliced
1/2 cup wheatberries
1/2 cup couscous
1 teaspoon dried harissa
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin seed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon
Dash of blended Moroccan spices (available on spice aisle)
Dash of rosemary, dried and crushed
Dash of salt
Green olives, to taste
Fresh mint, to taste
Pecans, to taste
Toss beets and carrots with Moroccan spices, rosemary and enough olive oil to lightly coat the vegetables. Roast in oven at 375 degrees about 20 minutes until tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
Cook wheatberries and couscous separately and let cool. When cooled, mix the two together and toss with a little olive oil, a dash of salt and a dash of harrisa.
Pan roast the cumin seeds and set aside.
Combine balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard and harrisa.
When ready to eat, toss vegetables, onion, roasted cumin, fresh mint, roasted pecans with dressing.
Serve with baby lettuce, the wheatberries, couscous, pecans, green olives and sliced oranges.
BARRY SAYS: As a child, I was more likely to eat a baseball than a beet. Growing up, I don't think I ever actually saw one in its natural form, but only ran across them when they mysteriously showed up on a buffet or a holiday table. Why they were there I never figured out.
I don't remember when my grown-up self decided to try one as an actual food item, but I've liked them quite a bit ever since. A pickled beet salad can be a good thing. I thought I might like them even better roasted, so I was pretty thrilled when a co-worker shared a bag of just-picked beets from her garden. I was even happier when Kelley suggested we roast them for this month's edition of Courter's Kitchen.
KELLEY SAYS: I like beets, especially fresh beets. They are full of flavor and good for you, as well.
BARRY: They are really good for your heart, and they supposedly have some anti-aging effects, as well. I feel a year or two younger already.
KELLEY: I went to the Brainerd Market and picked up some fresh carrots, as well, and decided to roast them, then add some wheatberries and couscous to some mixed lettuce for a nice salad. I also had some Moroccan spices I'd gotten from the store and some dried harissa -- a hot chili pepper paste -- that another of Barry's co-workers had actually brought back from Morocco. With some orange slices, olives and pecans, it was just about right. The harissa definitely added some kick and flavor.
BARRY: I loved the earthy flavors of the beets and the carrots, and the spicy kick was perfect.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.