I’m on a huge Mediterranean food kick. Not just chicken shawarma, but Greek yogurt, beets, couscous, LEMONS, feta – all of these things make my heart go pitter-patter. So I figured why not toss them all together in a big chopped salad? A few notes:
Now, I could dedicate a whole week of posts to my love of beets. I’m a weirdo, but I love them. A lot of people don’t. If you’re in the “no way beets” camp, just skip them and start at step 2! Your salad will still be delicious.
If you’ve been reading for the last few weeks, you may have noticed that I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a lot of recipes. Why? One reason is I think they just have a ton more flavor than chicken breasts. And, if you’re eating just a few ounces, the calorie difference between light meat and dark meat is super minimal. In addition to the flavor preference, well, I needed a few thighs for a recipe awhile back, but my store only had a huge family-size economy pack. So, I had to buy it and just freeze the extra. Thus, I’ve been using it ever since.
This Mediterranean chopped salad recipe involves roasting several of the ingredients in stages. First, put the beets in. Then, the vegetables go in. Then goes the chicken. While you’re waiting on things to roast, make the yogurt dressing and the couscous. You should be in and out of the kitchen in an hour, which may sound like a long time for a salad, but seriously – there’s so much flavor here.
One of the things I really like about this recipe is that you can make everything in advance, store the elements in separate containers, and then use it to put together lunches throughout the week. A good project for a Sunday afternoon!
Mediterranean Chopped Salad with Israeli Couscous
- 2 large red or yellow beets, roots and leaves trimmed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon + 1 pinch ground black pepper, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, quartered
- 1 yellow bell pepper, quartered
- 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 2 teaspoons Middle Eastern seasoning mix (recipe can be found HERE)
- 1/2 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place beets on large piece of foil; drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Fold foil over beets and crimp edges to form a tightly-sealed package. Place on rimmed baking pan and roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until beets are tender. Let cool 10 minutes, then use paper towel to rub beet skins off.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 pinch black pepper and 1 tablespoon oil.
- After the beets have been in the oven for 20 minutes, toss bell peppers and onion with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Transfer to oven on same pan as beets. Roast vegetables 25 minutes or until golden brown and tender, turning once halfway through cooking.
- After the vegetables have been in the oven 10 minutes, place chicken on separate rimmed baking pan. Rub chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and seasoning mix. Place chicken in oven; cook 14 to 16 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, turning once halfway through cooking.
- Meanwhile, in small saucepot, bring 2/3 cup water to a boil. Stir in couscous; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered 6 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes.
- To serve, cut vegetables (including beets) and chicken into 1-inch pieces and transfer to large serving bowl. Add lettuce, feta, parsley, couscous and yogurt mixture, and toss to combine.