With the same 10lbs of utility peaches that produced the Peach Cobbler Cupcakes we shared last week, I made this vibrant roasted vegetable and peach summer salad. I'm sure you can tell after a quick glance that this dish features beets - with that gorgeous vibrant Cabernet color, they make for a stunning bowl of food! Often root vegetables are associated with the winter months, for their heartiness and suitability to be slow roasted in the oven, but this dish does a wonderful job showcasing summer root vegetables alongside peaches, a surprising contrast that works really well together.
This salad starts with Israeli couscous - I used an Israeli couscous blend that worked wonderfully. Quinoa or farro would likely work as well. The veggies are roasted (beets and carrots), the peaches are diced, the feta is crumbled and the herbs (thyme and chives) are finely chopped. When each component is done, you toss them all together, watching each ingredient turn some hue of beet red, and dive right in! This is a wonderfully refreshing summer dish, full of fresh produce, nutrients, and some hearty carbs. I served this salad just a bit cooler than room temperature, and it really hit the spot.
For serving, you can crumble a bit of extra feta over top, and sprinkle a few peaches for a wonderful color contrast. This dish is well served as a side to a lighter meat (we tried chicken sausage), but also works well as a vegetarian main,
Summer Roasted Vegetable and Peach Couscous Salad
Ingredients 4-5 medium beets 3-5 medium carrots 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups prepared couscous (I used Israeli couscous, which has larger pearls than regular) 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Small handful sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped Small handful fresh chives, finely chopped
3 peaches, diced 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel and cut beets into 1-inch pieces, and place in a large bowl. Cut carrots into similarly sized pieces and place in bowl with beets. Drizzle vegetables with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste; toss well to coat. Dump veggies onto a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up all four edges to form a packet. Place packet on cookie sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until veggies are fork tender.
Toss prepared couscous with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme, chives, salt and pepper to taste. Divide among serving bowls. Top with roasted vegetables, peaches, and feta cheese, and toss gently to combine. You can serve warm, at room temperature, or even cold if you prefer.