Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Vegetable Pilaf

This is a great summer dish. It could be a main course, a side for a potluck or a good picnic food.
4 beets
15 cloves of garlic
olive oil
1 large or 2 small onions (i used about 5 or 6 small csa onions)
1 cup whole wheat Israeli cous cous
5 small heads of fennel or 1 large bulb (the ones from the csa were tiny)
1 pint organic cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 loose cups of basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 can cannelinni beans, rinsed
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
freshly grated sea salt & black pepper
big dash of grated parmesan cheese
splash of balsamic vinegar

1. Boil beets until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain, place in cold water bath, then peel, and cut into chunks.
2. While beets are boiling, brush olive oil on garlic (just enough to lightly coat it) and cook at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until roasted. (I did this in my toaster oven to keep the heat down in the kitchen).
3. Meanwhile, peel onions, slice, and caramelize in a splash of olive oil over low heat until golden.
4. Begin to cook the cous cous (as directed on package- or about 20 minutes). When done, drain and rinse in cold water.
5. When garlic is done, allow it to cool. Then squeeze the garlic flesh from each of the skins.
6. Brush fennel with olive oil, and roast at 425 for 10-15 minutes.Remove, cool, and slice into pieces.
6. Marinate the cherry tomatoes and basil in 1/4 cup olive oil.
7. Mix together beets, garlic, onions, tomato-basil mixture, cous cous, fennel, and pine nuts. Add sea salt, black pepper, parmesan and a splash of balsamic vinegar to taste. Then at the end mix in the beans.  Be sure not to overmix so that they will not become mushy. Serve cold.

Feeds about 5-6 people as main course servings.

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