3 Bowl Recipes That Celebrate Spring Ingredients

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Chef Kathy Gunst’s chicken and couscous bowl with green cilantro-scallion sauce. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Chef Kathy Gunst’s chicken and couscous bowl with green cilantro-scallion sauce. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Chef Kathy Gunst brings Here & Now's Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson recipes for three meals in a bowl that celebrate spring ingredients.

Chicken And Couscous Bowl With Green Cilantro-Scallion Sauce

In this recipe, a vibrant green sauce made from cilantro, parsley, scallions, garlic and olive oil is tossed with Israeli couscous and topped with sauteed chicken thighs. Peppery arugula leaves balance it all out along with crunchy pickled radish slices. A whole meal right here: colorful, great textures and totally satisfying.

Serves 2 to 3.

The Green Sauce

  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large scallion, ends trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

The Chicken, Couscous And Accompaniments

  • 1/2 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine (you can drink the rest when the dish is done)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1/2 cup arugula leaves
  • Pickled radish slices, see below
  • Other accompaniments: spears of peeled cucumber, pickled onions, roasted cherry tomatoes, etc.


  1. Make the green sauce a day or two in advance: Pulse or chop the cilantro, garlic, scallions, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Add the oil and puree until thick and chunky. Taste for seasoning and then place in a covered container and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
  2. Marinate the chicken: Place the chicken in a zip lock bag or bowl and cover with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, wine, salt and pepper. Marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
  3. Cook the chicken and the couscous: In a large skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Add the chicken, season liberally with salt and pepper and let it cook, without touching, for 5 minutes. Gently flip the chicken over and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat, until cooked through and golden brown. Place on a plate to cool for a minute or two, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  4. Meanwhile bring 1 1/4 cups of salted water to boil. Add the couscous, stir, cover and cook over low heat for about 8-10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  5. To serve: Stir half the green sauce into the warm couscous to incorporate fully. Divide the couscous between 2 to 3 bowls (2 bowls for a dinner main course and 3 for lunch meal). Top with the chicken slices. Surround the chicken with the arugula leaves and the pickled radishes.

Pickled Radishes

You can use this simple technique for refrigerator pickles with radishes, scallions, carrots, zucchini, etc.


  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • About 1 cup radish slices or any other vegetable
  • 2 scallions, cut in half lengthwise and into 2-inch pieces


  1. Place the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Place the radishes and onions in a pint size mason jar. Add the hot brine and cover. Seal and place in the refrigerator for up to a week or 10 days. The pickles will be ready to use after an hour or so.
Broiled miso-ginger salmon bowl with rice, avocado, radishes and sprouts, from chef Kathy Gunst. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Broiled miso-ginger salmon bowl with rice, avocado, radishes and sprouts, from chef Kathy Gunst. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Broiled Miso-Ginger Salmon Bowl With Rice, Avocado, Radishes And Sprouts

Make a pot of rice, rub some ginger and miso on a salmon filet, broil the salmon and voila: You have the makings of a healthy, hearty one bowl lunch or dinner.

Serves 2.

The Salmon, Rice And Veggies

  • 1/2 cup brown or white rice
  • 2 scallions, dark green section cut into 2-inch pieces and white and pale green sections finely chopped
  • 1 pound salmon filet, preferably wild
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste (preferably white)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, cut into paper thin slices
  • 1 avocado, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup sprouts, bean, sunflower or your favorite variety

The Miso-Ginger Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions, white and green sections
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste (preferably white)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive or safflower oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Thin slices peeled cucumber
  • Radish slices
  • Sesame seeds
  • Arugula or lettuce leaves


  1. Following the directions, boil the rice until cooked through. Set aside. The rice should be warm but doesn’t need to be hot.
  2. Prepare the salmon: Heat the broiler.
  3. Place the large scallion pieces on a broiler sheet or shallow roasting pan. Place the salmon on top and rub with the miso paste. Place the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, chopped ginger and ginger slices on top. Broil the fish about 2 inches from the heat for about 10 minutes or until it’s just cooked through depending on the thickness of the filet.
  4. Meanwhile make the sauce: In a small bowl or Mason jar mix the ginger, scallions, and miso paste. Stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, oil and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  5. To serve: Divide the rice between two large bowls. Top with half the broiled salmon. Surround the salmon with avocado slices. Add any of the vegetables, pickles, sprouts or seeds and add several tablespoons of the dressing on top of each bowl. Serve warm or room temperature.
Chef Kathy Gunst's roasted spring vegetables on farro  with a lemon-chive vinaigrette. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Chef Kathy Gunst's roasted spring vegetables on farro with a lemon-chive vinaigrette. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Roasted Spring Vegetables On Farro With Lemon-Chive Vinaigrette

Leeks, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and cherry tomatoes are roasted and served on top of farro (a whole grain hulled wheat that's shaped a bit like barley). The dish is drizzled with a lemony-chive vinaigrette. You could also serve the vegetables on cooked white, brown, black or heirloom rice, or orzo pasta.

This could be a side course but it’s got enough going to easily be a main course.

Serves 2 to 3.

The Vegetables

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, yellow and red if possible
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks, ends trimmed and the white and pale green section cut in half lengthwise, washed and dried
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 10 Brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or maple syrup
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

The Farro And Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallion
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The Accompaniments

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Crumbled feta or blue cheese
  • Chopped pistachios or your favorite nuts
  • Pickled radishes


  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the tomatoes in a small roasting pan or ovenproof skillet and cover with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil, salt, pepper and the basil leaves.
  2. Place the asparagus and leeks in a shallow roasting pan or ovenproof skillet and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Place the Brussels sprouts in a small skillet or baking tray and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the rice wine vinegar and sugar or maple syrup, salt and pepper to taste. Place the tomatoes, the asparagus and leek, and the Brussels sprouts on the middle shelf and roast for about 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. They should just be tender; they will continue to cook once you take them out of the oven. Remove the tomatoes and the leeks and asparagus.
  4. Raise the heat to 475 degrees. Toss the sprouts and cook another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size, until they are tender and the leaves look crisp and almost blackened.
  5. While the vegetables are roasting cook the farro according to the package instructions.
  6. Make the dressing: In a small bowl mix all the ingredients. Taste for seasoning.
  7. To serve: Divide the farro between 2 or 3 bowls. Divide the tomatoes, leeks, asparagus and Brussels sprouts (spoon any juices from the bottom of all the skillets on top) and then drizzle with some of the vinaigrette. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side. Add any or all of the accompaniments.

This segment aired on April 17, 2019.


Headshot of Kathy Gunst

Kathy Gunst Resident Chef, Here & Now
Kathy Gunst is a James Beard Award-winning journalist and the author of 15 cookbooks.



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