Reprinted from Blue Apron
You’ll be using a special variety of walnut to add a toasty element to this dish. Red walnuts, named for their distinct, crimson-hued skins, are less bitter, smoother and nuttier than their brown counterparts. In ancient Rome, walnuts were thought to be the food of the gods. Here, they add a satisfying crunch and heavenly flavor to this hearty salad.
Makes 2 servings; about 580 calories per serving
5 ounces baby heirloom carrots
4 black figs
3 tablespoons red walnuts
1 bunch basil
1 bunch chives
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/4 pound breakfast radishes
3/4 cup Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Trim off the stem ends of the carrots; halve the carrots lengthwise. Halve the figs lengthwise. Roughly chop the walnuts. Pick the basil off the stems; discard the stems. Mince the chives. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and mince the shallot to get 2 teaspoons of minced shallot (you may have extra shallot). Place the minced shallot in a bowl with the vinegar. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then into large pieces on angle. Cut off and discard the tops of the radishes; quarter the radishes lengthwise.
Add the Israeli couscous to the pot of boiling water. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly, rinse under cold water, then drain again. Set aside while you continue cooking.
Heat a large, dry pan (nonstick, if you have one) on medium-high until hot. Add the walnuts and toast, stirring frequently, 1 to 3 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. Transfer the walnuts to a small bowl. Wipe out the pan. To make the vinaigrette, combine the Dijon mustard and shallot-vinegar mixture. Season with salt and pepper and slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
In the same pan used to toast the walnuts, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on high until hot. Add the figs, cut side down first, and cook 30 seconds 1 minute per side, or until browned. Transfer the seared figs to a plate and set aside. Wipe out the pan.
In the same pan used to sear the figs, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until slightly softened. Increase the heat to medium-high and add a little more olive oil, the radishes and zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Stir in the garlic, toasted walnuts and basil (roughly chopping the leaves just before adding). Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and fragrant. Remove from heat.
Stir the chives into the cooked Israeli couscous. Add enough vinaigrette to coat the couscous (you may have extra vinaigrette). Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. To plate your dish, divide the couscous between 2 plates and top each with the vegetables. Garnish with the seared figs. Enjoy!