Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Beet Couscous with Fava Bean Cream

Oh man! It has already been a week with my box of delicious vegetables courtesy of the South Central Farmers. What I have left are the following: fava beans, beet greens, 1 golden beet, 2 red beets, and chard. Today, I shall knock down another beet, fava beans, and beet greens, just like how my group demolished a truss for my bridge design course.

I was talking to a couple friends about beets, and how much I detest them. Apparently, the beet greens taste pretty good. In addition, they suggested eating the beets cold in salad. The problem is .... I am not really a salad person. Another thing that I can't stand is eating salad. I find it not exciting putting vegetables together in a plate and mixing it with your favorite dressing.

For a side note .... the other day, I made balsamic beets. Today, I decided to try them cold, straight out of the fridge. They were pretty delicious. Somehow the coldness alters the density and probably reconfigures the flavor cells (made up science) of the beet into something quite yummy. It tastes similar to the pickled cucumbers that Chinese people put with their cognee.

Anyways, enough talking... Time to get to the main portion of this post. I decided to make a more complex dish with most of the remaining ingredients. The time it takes is about 1 hour to make it.

Beet Couscous with Fava Bean Cream

Ingredients for Couscous and Tofu
1 1/2 cup Couscous
2 cups Stock (vegetable, chicken, fish, your choice)
1 large Red beet
1 Yellow onion
1/2 cup White kidney beans
7 Beet greens
1 Bay leaf
4 oz Firm tofu
4 cloves Garlic
2 packs Raisins (about 2 oz)
Salt and pepper

Ingredients for Fava Bean Cream
1/2 cup Fava beans
1/2 cup Stock (vegetable, chicken etc.)
1/4 cup Half and half
1 tsp Thyme powder
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper

Preparation and cooking <- important to read it all before you start if you want to cut time. This recipe requires a lot of management

1. Preheat oven to 370F
2. Begin to boil water in a pot
3. Cut tofu into cubes
3. Line sheet tray with parchment paper and line tofu onto the paper
4. Salt and pepper tofu
5. Toss in the oven and set bake time to 20 minutes
6. When the tofu is done, leave it in the oven to keep warm

Beet couscous and other misc prep work
1. Wash beet greens and shred them and place into a bowl
2. Dice onions and place into a bowl
3. Setup food processor
4. Your water should be boiling by now, throw in fava beans and cook for 6 minutes
5. Coarse chop the beets and throw into the food processor.
6. Operate food processor until the beets look like tiny pieces about 2 mm in size
7. Heat oil in a pan and toss in onions, bay leaf, raisins, and beets
8. Cook until onions are translucent on medium low heat. (1 minute)
9. Add in couscous and cook until couscous is lightly browned (2 minutes)
10. Add in stock, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fava bean sauce process (10 minutes)
1. While the couscous is cooking, remove the fava beans and begin removing them from the shells (5 minutes)
2. Wash food processor and throw in the fava beans, half and half, chicken stock, thyme powder, and lemon juice.
3. Blend well and transfer to sauce pan (2 minutes)
4. Cook the sauce until it is hot and reduce until sauce-like consistency (3 minutes)
5. Salt and pepper to taste.

Beet Greens (3-5 minutes)
1. In another pan, add in oil and wait for it to get hot
2. Add in garlic, beet greens, white kidney beans, salt, and pepper
3. Cook for 2-3 minutes until leaves are tender

Assembling it all together!
Now, check up on your couscous to see if it is tender and firm to bite. If it isn't, add a little more stock if there is no more liquid left in the pan and cover to cook a little longer. REMEMBER TO KEEP STIRRING after every 3 or so minutes so you don't burn the bottom.

To plate:
1. Place sauce on the bottom of the bowl or plate.
2. Use a ring cutter and add couscous
3. Top with beet greens, beans, and tofu

Well, that was probably the longest post and probably one of the most complex things I've made. The whole combination of all these things is quite delicious. Enjoy trying to recreate this dish xD.


  1. beautiful to look at :) I wonder how that combination of flavors would taste

  2. the colors are amazing! and those carrot muffins look yummy. i've got to make them sometime.