Middle Eastern Burrito Bowl with Peach Salsa is an easy and delicious twist on a grain bowl, using Israeli couscous in place of rice.
This Middle Eastern Burrito Bowl with Peach Salsa is the last of my peach recipes for 2017–but expect to continue seeing tomatoes for a while (albeit not in this recipe). Starting in mid-August, the weather has just been weird this year. Mid August to mid September was freezing; it felt like autumn had arrived. Then in mid September it got August hot, and while it is no longer sweltering it is certainly still warm enough for tomatoes. Heck I even saw local corn at the grocery store recently! During corn maze season! As a food blogger I know it is not in my best interest to be sharing a peach recipe now–or a tomato recipe next week. But as a cook and eater? There is simply no other choice but to keep using and appreciating the late summer produce for as long as I can get them.
The great thing about a peach salsa in a recipe like this one is that if you are willing to think outside the box you can come up with substitutes for the peaches in order to enjoy this recipe all year long. Try a mix of sweet and tart apples. Or roasted butternut squash with a heftier squeeze of lemon juice. Frozen organic sweet corn tossed with chopped sweet bell peppers. Anything sweet with just a hint of acid (added or inherent) should work.
Speaking of substitutions, feel free to serve this Middle Eastern Burrito Bowl on other grains as well. Traditional couscous would work as would rice. Farro would be less traditional but still tasty. Alex adores couscous, so the Israeli couscous in this dish was a special treat for her.
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 T minced garlic
- 3 T ground marash chile pepper (possible subs include pasilla, urfa or ancho chile peppers)
- 1 1/2 T ground cumin
- 1 1/2 t za'atar
- Salt to taste
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 slender zucchini, diced
- 1 sweet bell pepper, diced
- 2 t pomegranate molasses
- 2 t honey
- 5 peaches, chopped
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1-2 t fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced and soaked in cold water for 15 minutes
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 cups Israeli couscous cooked to package direcrions in salted water
- Greek yogurt
- Sumac for sprinkling
- chopped cilantro (flat leaf parsley would work also)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the onions with a pinch of salt. Have the remaining ingredients for the beef ready to go.
While the onions are caramelizing, toss together the peach salsa ingredients and set aside. Also begin the couscous--cook it according to package directions.
When the onions are golden brown, a good 10-15 minutes, add the garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the marash chile pepper, cumin and za'atar. Stir for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the ground beef to the onions with a pinch of salt. Stir, breaking up the meat and incorporating the onions and spices into the meat.
When most of the pink is gone from the ground beef, add the zucchini and pepper with another pinch of salt. Stir and cook until the ground beef is cooked through and the zucchini and peppers are crisp tender.
Stir in the pomegranate molasses and honey. Taste for more of either and taste for salt. If it is ready, remove from the heat.
Place some couscous in the bottom of an individual serving bowl. Spoon some of the ground beef mixture into one corner. Spoon some peach salsa over another corner--be generous. Dollop some Greek yogurt (to taste) in another corner.
Sprinkle everything with sumac and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
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