Raspberry Roasted Beets and Chèvre Over Shallot, Walnut, and Beet Greens Couscous
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This recipe won second place in The 2013 Old Farmer’s Almanac Beet Recipe Contest. Congratulations to Susan Scarborough from Fernandina Beach, Florida!
10 baby beets, multicolor if available, with 4 cups greens
3/4 cup raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons walnut oil or light olive oil, divided
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallot or mild onion
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups couscous (prepared according to package directions, preferably using chicken broth)
1/2 cup goat cheese (chèvre), herbed if available, crumbled
2 tablespoons lightly chopped fresh tarragon leaves (optional)
Remove the greens from the beet roots. Wash and peel the beet roots. Wash, then roughly chop the greens. Slice the beet roots lengthwise. In a shallow ovenproof dish, toss the beet roots with 1/2 cup of dressing; allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes; if longer—up to overnight—refrigerate. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Drain the beet roots, discarding the marinade; season them with half of the pepper, and roast on the center rack for 45 minutes, or until tender. In a large, nonstick pan over medium heat, toast the nuts for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan to prevent burning. Remove the nuts from the pan and set them aside to cool. Return the pan to the heat, warm 2 tablespoons of oil, and then add the shallots and sauté until they begin to caramelize. Add the beet greens and cook for another 3 minutes, or until tender. Add the remaining oil, the salt, the remaining pepper, and the cooked couscous. Stir to blend and heat through. Remove from the heat. Serve the couscous mixture topped with roasted beets, crumbled cheese, and nuts. Drizzle with the remaining dressing and scatter tarragon on top, if using.
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