We’re big fans of goat cheese, in case you couldn’t tell — so when we saw a TV chef making a dish recently that featured a nut-coated goat cheese balls, we knew we had to recreate something in our own kitchen. The addition of crispy, salty bacon and the crunchy pistachio coating pretty much makes these lil’ babies the best part of this salad, and is perfectly paired with steamed beats, Mediterranean couscous and fresh microgreens.
Mediterranean Couscous with Steamed Beets and Microgreens
- 2 cups beets washed, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup Mediterranean Couscous
- 1 teaspoon neutral oil
- 1/3 cup bacon finely chopped and crisped
- 1 cup pistachios crushed
- 1 cup goat cheese
- 1/3 cup basil leaves finely chopped
- 2 cups assorted microgreens
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- pinch salt and pepper to taste
Wash and peel the beets. Cut them in half, then into smaller wedges, depending on the size of the beet. Set in a steam basket or pressure cooker, and cook until tender (it took us about 25 minutes in a pressure cooker).
Cook the couscous according to package directions. Fluff with a fork, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Dice bacon into small pieces, then add to the hot pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until crispy and the fat has rendered. Transfer to a paper-towel lined tray to absorb and excess oil and to cool to the touch, about 5 minutes.
Place crushed pistachios in a small bowl. In another larger sized bowl, combine the goat cheese, basil and crispy bacon. Mix until well incorporated. Portion out 1 teaspoon sized amounts, and roll into a small ball shape in the palm of your hand. Toss in the pistachios until well coated, then set on a tray. Repeat the process until all of the goat cheese mixture is used, then set the balls in the refrigerator to chill for 5 minutes.
Assemble the salad in a serving bowl of your choice. Combine micro greens, couscous and beets. Add zest of lemon to the bowl. In a small jar, combine lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Seal with lid, and shake vigorously until emulsified. Drizzle over the salad, and toss everything together. The couscous will turn a vibrant shade of pink!
Top the salad with the pistachio-coated goat cheese balls and serve.