Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Harissa Couscous With Pear, Kale, and Lemon


[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

Bright radishes bring a fresh crunch to the earthier flavors of this comforting fall lunch box. I love using pear in savory dishes; it's somewhat unexpected, but it holds its shape and texture amazingly well (unlike next-day or even next-hour diced apples), and its subtler sweetness pairs well with spicy or tart flavors. Here, we have both. Harissa provides an undercurrent of gentle heat that complements sautéed kale (I cooked mine to the fried/crunchy level), seasoned with lemon juice and zest, which gets folded into a savory-and-sweet couscous with the radishes and pears.

Not all pears are created equal. When it comes to savory dishes, Bosc pears—the elegant, rustic ones with the dark brown skin&,dash;are firmer, a touch sweeter and more full-flavored than other common varieties like Bartlett, so they pair better with bold spices.

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a cook at Eataly's La Scuola. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at and on twitter @the_suzchef.