Israeli Couscous with Golden Beet Greens and Crisps

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Sometimes, the side is the star.

Lamb Chop with Beet Crisps and Couscous
Rosemary, garlic lambchop with Isreali Couscous

Do you discard the tops of beets and turnips without a thought? If so, you just might be missing something. I know many people shy away from greens, or just don’t quite know what do do with them. In spite of that, if you are comfortable with spinach or swiss chard you might just like this less bitter relative from their plant family. I know we often only see beets in the market with the tops are trimmed to serve the root, but in season at farmer’s markets and even grocery chains like Raley’s and Whole Foods, you an see these beautiful full bunches of greens perched on top of the itty-bitty golden orbs with the gangly root tail. Why not give them a whirl in your next meal?  Easily switched up with bok choy or kale, the taste and health benefits are worth the effort. (See link at the bottom for nutritional information on beet greens.)

Golden Beets and Greens
Golden Beets with Greens.

With this in mind, challenged myself to use the whole of the beet in one meal. A simple marinated and grilled lamb chop and a side that was clearly the star.  What was a creative challenge resulted in a winning idea that will be repeated.   I say, have fun with your vegetables!

beetroot crisps
Fried Beet Crisps

Israeli Couscous with Golden Beet Greens and Crisps
Serves 4
Prep Time 25 minutes (estimated)
Cook Time 30 minutes (estimated)

1 bunch golden beet greens, rough chopped (from 3-4 golden beets, equals about 4 cups)
3 golden beets, thin juliennes
3-4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup pine nuts
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 ½ cups Israeli couscous
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 ¾ cup low salt chicken broth
½ tsp fine ground black pepper
Kosher salt to taste
1 tsp lemon zest

Wash beet greens thoroughly, remove center ribs and rough chop. It will look like a huge mound, but relax. It will reduce significantly when you cook it down.
Peel and slice beets wafer thin, then julienne. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy bottom pot so that the oil is shimmery (about 350 degrees). Cook beets in small batches until crispy all the way through (time depends on batch quantities) about 2-3 minutes.
Remove from oil and transfer to paper towel to drain off excess oil, sprinkle with a little fine sea salt. Reserve crisps.


  1. heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium high In a large saucepan, add pine nuts and toast until fragrant and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in a small bowl
  2. Add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil to pan and cook chopped shallot until translucent, add beet greens and a pinch of salt. Continue cooking until completely wilted and reduced down. Stir often during this process.
  3. Add couscous, bay leaf and cinnamon to pan, stir to combine and tan couscous.
  4. Add low salt chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer) bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender.
  5. Remove bay leaf and take pot off heat.
  6. Add lemon zest, pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste, stir to combine thoroughly.
  7. Serve with beet crisps on top.


Cook’s Tips
I used a box of Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous, but you can purchase Israeli couscous in the bulk bins at many grocery stores.

Nutritional Information about beet greens – because, of course you would like to know! From Self Nutrition Data. 

What wine would you pair with this meal?
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6 Responses to Israeli Couscous with Golden Beet Greens and Crisps

  1. Bentobird says:

    What delicious healthy info in this post…the crisps are leaping off the screen (well, just about, anyway!). I truly love exotic and fun sidedishes, thanks for the tasty inspiration here 🙂

  2. Yumgoggle says:

    Such an excellent idea! I always welcome maximizing the use of every stuff in the kitchen. Healthy and thrifty…delicious is always the way to go! 😉
    Anyhoo, we have been keeping an eye out for unique and interesting bloggers with phenomenal photography skills, and yours caught our attention! We have just recently launched a food photo submission gallery that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

  3. Denise @ TLT says:

    Those fried beet crisps look so good, Robin! I love veggies and can’t think of not having them, but it’s so nice to change things up a bit now and then. Thanks for this new inspiration!

    (Also on a completely different note: how crazy that you received that clock after all those years of work. It’s a good thing you feel valued by the people around you, because this is such a silly gift…!)

    • I agree Denise! How to visualize our regular veggies in a new way is the creative challenge. I am so glad you like this idea…. and yeah on the service award it is really the people that make it all worthwhile. Thank you darling one for your visit!

  4. Jamie says:

    Gosh, you are good. The couscous does look delicious and the crisps look out of this world. Don’t really even need the meat, do you?

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