Israeli Couscous Salad (serve warm or cold!)

  • First prepare the kale pesto. Take the bottom of a glass or large chef’s knife and place it on top of each garlic clove and press firmly to crush the garlic clove until flat.

  • Heat 1.5 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium/high heat. When the olive oil is fragrant, add the garlic. Sauté the garlic until fragrant and lightly golden brown.

  • Place the cooked garlic in a high-powered food processor along with the kale, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, walnuts, salt, and remaining olive oil.

    All ingredients for kale pesto in a food processor.
  • Pulse ingredients in food processor to mix ingredients, then process all ingredients on high for 2-4 minutes or until ingredients thick and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the food processor a few times during the processing time.

  • After the pesto has been processed, it should be thick and creamy. If the pesto is still dry and chunky, add an additional teaspoon or two of olive oil, scrape down the sides, and continue to process until the pesto becomes thick and creamy. Sometimes, longer processing of the pesto pulls the oil out of the walnuts, giving the pesto more moisture. Put aside.

    Kale pesto in a bowl.
  • Next, cook the couscous. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium/high heat and add the couscous. Toast the couscous for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Move the couscous back and forth with a spatula. Put water in the pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cover and let the couscous simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

  • Uncover the couscous, fluff it up with a fork and add the pesto to the couscous. Mix until couscous is coated in pesto. Put aside.

    Couscous with kale pesto.
  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF and grease a baking sheet with olive oil or line with parchment paper.

  • In a small bowl, mix the spices for the spice mix together until combined. Put aside.

    Dry spices for the couscous salad.
  • Place the pumpkin cubes on half of the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and half of the spice mixture. Massage the oil and spices into the butternut squash. Put aside.

  • In a separate small bowl, add all the ingredients for the beans and mix until the beans are coated. Spread the beans with the butternut squash in the center of the baking sheet. Bake the butternut squash and beans for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

  • While the butternut squash and beans cook prepare the cauliflower. Cut a small head of cauliflower into large florets and mandoline the cauliflower. We used a Kyocera mandolin set to 3.0mm. Mandolin the cauliflower into a large bowl (you will have about 4 cups). Add the remaining olive oil to the cauliflower along with the remaining spice mix and gently toss the cauliflower with the oil and spices. It’s okay if some parts fall apart.

    Cauliflower on a pan with spices.
  • Transfer the cauliflower to the baking sheet with the butternut squash and beans and bake the cauliflower for 10-12 minutes or until just golden and warm.

    Butternut squash, chickpeas and cauliflower on a baking sheet.
  • While the cauliflower is cooking, add the onion, parsley, red wine vinegar, salt, and feta to a large salad bowl and toss to combine.

  • When the vegetables are ready to cook, put them in a salad bowl with the onion and mix. Place the couscous in the salad bowl and toss again. Top the salad with more feta and enjoy.

    All the ingredients for the couscous salad in a bowl.
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