Israeli Couscous with Roasted Vegetables and Pepitas

Have you ever tasted something while you are cooking it, and you just keep eating it?  Well, that happens to me a lot.  I go in for a taste to check for right texture and seasoning, and if it’s really good, I keep coming back for more.  I ate almost an entire helping of this stuff before I could get it on a plate.  So good…and the leftovers are perfect, too.  I would like a supply of this for my lunch on a weekly basis!
roasty root vegetable couscous

you will need:
1 bunch of carrots
1 sweet potato
olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small red onion, minced
1 cup chickpeas
4 ounces crumbly goat cheese
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

Heat  oven to 425° F. Peel and chop the carrots and the sweet potatoes. Toss the sweet potato and carrot pieces with a few tablespoons of  olive oil, and generously with sea salt and black pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, moving the vegetables around every 10 minutes or so. They are done when blackened in spots, and cooked through.

In a small pot, bring the stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, mince the garlic. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat; when the oil is warm, add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, until fragment, and then add the couscous. Toast the couscous for about 1 minute, and then add the hot stock. Put the lid on the pot, and set the timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the lid: there should only be a little liquid left in the pot. (If not, put the lid back on, and continue cooking for up to 5 minutes.) Take the lid off and cook for another couple minutes, until the liquid is dissolved. Take the pot off the heat and add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to prevent the couscous from sticking together.

While the couscous is cooking, make the dressing.  Whisk the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Pour in the oil, and whisk to emulsify.

When ready to serve, add the roasted sweet potatoes & carrots, dressing, red onion, chickpeas, goat cheese, and pumpkin seeds to the couscous.  Stir to combine and serve.

serves: 4
time: 40 minutes
from: adapted slightly from Food52

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