I created this on the fly one evening, and even my very picky son liked it well enough that he wants to have it again. You can save some time by cooking the lentils and couscous while the vegetables simmer. I serve it as a vegetarian main dish, but it could be a side dish just as easily. Za'tar is a mixture of thyme and sesame seeds, and sumac is a citrus-flavored spice that is made from crushed sumac berries--NOT to be confused with American poison sumac that is not edible. Both can be purchased in Mediterranean grocery stores or online.
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon ground sumac
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon onion, minced
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- 2 cups couscous, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 1⁄2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut
- 2 cups spinach, raw, chopped roughly
- 1 tablespoon za'atar spice mix
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces feta, diced
- 2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Make the yogurt-sumac sauce by mixing together yogurt, sumac powder, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon minced onion. Allow to sit at room temperature for about an hour. (Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.).
- Cook the lentils in simmering water until tender, following package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Put couscous in a bowl with 3 cups of boiling water. Stir and let sit away from heat until all water is absorbed and couscous is tender. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until onion is transparent. Add garlic and bell pepper, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add carrots and green beans. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until green beans are tender. Stir occasionally.
- When green beans are cooked, stir in the spinach and simmer 1-2 minutes, until spinach is wilted. Stir in the za'tar, salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat.
- Mix the vegetable mixture with the lentils, couscous, and feta. Stir gently until well combined. Serve topped with diced tomatoes and cucumber, and with yogurt-sumac sauce to taste.
I wouldn't have thought of using couscous and lentils together. You created something delicious...out-of-the-ordinary side or vegetarian main dish.
This is great. I don't use spinach any more but this was still top notch without it. It's very filling and it goes a long way (at least for us). I used whole wheat couscous here and really loved the yogurt sauce. This one is a keeper. Made for Pick A Chef, 2013.