Za'atar Beef & Tzatziki Pitas with Couscous, Goat Cheese, & Pickled Peppers

Za'atar Beef & Tzatziki Pitas

with Couscous, Goat Cheese, & Pickled Peppers

25 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

These pitas are bursting with Mediterranean flavors thanks to a cooling layer of cucumber yogurt and a filling of tender beef coated in za’atar—a blend that highlights sumac, a gorgeous red spice beloved for its tart flavor. It all comes together with a warm side of couscous tossed with sweet pickled peppers and goat cheese.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    650 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
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tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

If you prefer to use an oven to warm the pitas instead of a microwave, preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel the carrots and grate on the large side of a box grater. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; thinly slice. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems. 

Marinate the carrots:
2 Marinate the carrots:

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the grated carrots and season with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly coat. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Cook & finish the couscous:
3 Cook & finish the couscous:

While the carrots marinate, in a medium pot, combine the couscous and 1 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, turn off the heat. Cover and let stand 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is tender. Fluff with a fork. Stir in the peppers, cheese (crumbling before adding), and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover to keep warm.

Coat & cook the beef:
4 Coat & cook the beef:

While the couscous cooks, using your hands, separate the beef. Pat dry with paper towels. Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cornstarch and za’atar; stir to thoroughly coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high. Once the oil is hot enough that a piece of beef sizzles immediately when added, add the coated beef in an even layer (shaking off any excess coating before adding). Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until just cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Warm the pitas:
5 Warm the pitas:

If using the microwave, wrap the pitas in a damp paper towel and microwave on high 1 minute, or until heated through and pliable. If using the oven, wrap the pitas in foil and place directly onto an oven rack; warm 7 to 9 minutes, or until heated through and pliable. Transfer the warmed pitas to a work surface and carefully unwrap.

Assemble the pitas & serve your dish:
6 Assemble the pitas & serve your dish:

Fill the warmed pitas with the tzatziki, cooked beef, as much of the sliced lettuce as you’d like, and the marinated carrots (discarding any liquid). Serve the assembled pitas with the finished couscous. Garnish the couscous with the chopped parsley. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

If you prefer to use an oven to warm the pitas instead of a microwave, preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel the carrots and grate on the large side of a box grater. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; thinly slice. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems. 

2 Marinate the carrots:

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the grated carrots and season with salt and pepper. Stir to thoroughly coat. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, at least 10 minutes. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Marinate the carrots:
Cook & finish the couscous:
3 Cook & finish the couscous:

While the carrots marinate, in a medium pot, combine the couscous and 1 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, turn off the heat. Cover and let stand 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is tender. Fluff with a fork. Stir in the peppers, cheese (crumbling before adding), and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover to keep warm.

4 Coat & cook the beef:

While the couscous cooks, using your hands, separate the beef. Pat dry with paper towels. Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cornstarch and za’atar; stir to thoroughly coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high. Once the oil is hot enough that a piece of beef sizzles immediately when added, add the coated beef in an even layer (shaking off any excess coating before adding). Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until just cooked through. Turn off the heat.

Coat & cook the beef:
Warm the pitas:
5 Warm the pitas:

If using the microwave, wrap the pitas in a damp paper towel and microwave on high 1 minute, or until heated through and pliable. If using the oven, wrap the pitas in foil and place directly onto an oven rack; warm 7 to 9 minutes, or until heated through and pliable. Transfer the warmed pitas to a work surface and carefully unwrap.

6 Assemble the pitas & serve your dish:

Fill the warmed pitas with the tzatziki, cooked beef, as much of the sliced lettuce as you’d like, and the marinated carrots (discarding any liquid). Serve the assembled pitas with the finished couscous. Garnish the couscous with the chopped parsley. Enjoy! 

Assemble the pitas & serve your dish:
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