Israeli Couscous Salad with Za’atar Roasted Radishes and Greens


Photo by Michael Piazza / Styled by Sarah Blackburn

Submitted by Kara Voskian of Jamiaca Plain. She gets ingredients for her salad at Allandale Farm in Brookline, which is also where she picks up her copy of Edible Boston. “This recipe is an original of mine and has become something of a staple in our house. In the cooler months I bulk it up with carrots and hearty chickpeas and in the spring radishes become the star. They caramelize lightly while roasting and play fantastically off the chewy Israeli couscous and the bright peppery greens. The za’atar blend is from Sofra Bakery in Watertown.”

Serves 8

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons tahini
2 tablespoons za’atar spice mix
¾ teaspoon ground sea salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups dry Israeli couscous 3 large bunches of fresh French breakfast radishes (about 18-20 radishes) with greens attached
1 cup cooked fresh chickpeas, shelled English peas or shelled fava beans
4 large spring onions, white and light green parts sliced thin
Extra za’atar for serving

Prepare dressing by whisking together ½ cup olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, za’atar, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Separate greens from radishes, wash and dry them thoroughly and slice into ½-inch wide strips. Set aside. Scrub the radishes and slice each in half lengthwise and place in a small mixing bowl. Pour half of the dressing over radishes and toss to combine.

Spread coated radishes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15–20 minutes, shaking pan and flipping about halfway through. Remove radishes from the oven when tender with slightly browned edges.

While radishes are roasting, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add Israeli couscous and, stirring frequently, cook until pasta has reached a toasted, golden brown color, about 5-7 minutes. Add 2½ cups water and a ½ teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until all water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Pour cooked couscous into a medium serving bowl and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. Add remaining dressing and toss to combine. Add roasted radishes, cooked chick peas, English peas, or fava beans, the chopped greens, and most of the spring onions, stirring them into the couscous mix. Garnish with reserved spring onions and extra za’atar.

This recipe appeared in the Summer 2014 issue as part of a larger story on potluck salads.