Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Israeli Couscous, Corn, Cucumber & Tomato Salad

Israeli Couscous Salad
This is a very versatile salad and you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Israeli couscous is very similar to regular couscous; both are a type of pasta! The regular is tiny whereas Israeli couscous is larger and look similar to tapioca pearls. This fresh tasting salad is similar to the regular Tabbouleh; it includes crunchy cucumbers and other refreshing veggies.

For a quick but delicious variation, stir in some Carrot Top Chimichurri instead of the green herbs.

Note: Any couscous may be used; cook according to manufacturer's directions. If Isreali couscous is already toasted, cook according to directions on the package; but make sure they are cooked until tender with additional water if needed. Other grains such as farro, barley, quinoa, etc or small pasta like orzo may be used as well instead of the couscous.

1 cup Israeli Couscous
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 Lemons/Limes, juiced
2 Shallots, finely chopped
1 Carrot, coarsely grated
1 cup Corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup cooked Garbanzos or other beans
1 large bunch Flat Leaf Parsley
3 young Scallions (aka green onions)
1 bunch Garlic Chives
1 small bunch fresh Mint
Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Romaine hearts to serve

Heat a skillet and add 1 T of the oil and stir in the couscous; stir and cook over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and 2 cups of boiling water; bring to a boil, reduce heat so couscous is simmering. Cover slightly ajar, and cook until tender. Add corn whether fresh or frozen  to the couscous; stir well to mix; let cool slightly.

Prepare all the veggies and herbs while the couscous is cooling.

Finely slice the scallions and chives, mince the mint and parsley.

When the couscous has cooled to lukewarm, add all the ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust salt, lemon/lime, and pepper. 

Separate the leaves of romaine hearts and wash and dry. Chill in bags until needed.

Serve the couscous surrounded by romaine leaves. Diners can scoop the salad into the romaine to eat like tacos. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Carrot greens & Cilantro Chimichurri (Spicy Carrot Greens Pesto)

When you grow or purchase a nice bunch of garden fresh carrots, what do you do with all the lovely feathery carrot greens? Why, make Chimichurri of course! Carrot tops taste similar to parsley; which is no surprise, as they are from the same family! Next time you have carrot tops, don't chuck them in the compost or worse yet, throw them in the trash heap. The feathery greens can be used just like parsley. 

We love to spoon the chimicurri over a bowl of steaming quinoa, brown rice or root veggies. Delicious mixed with couscous and cucumbers for a quick Tabbouleh! 

Note: Save the stems for the stock pot - they add a lot of carroty goodness to the broth!


1 cup Carrot greens (only the leaves), packed
1 handful, Cilantro
1-2 Limes, juice
1/4 tsp Salt
1 clove Garlic
1 Serrano Chile
1/4 cup Shallots OR Red Onions, finely minced
2-3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place carrot greens, cilantro, salt, lime juice, garlic and Serrano chile in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped; you may have to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Taste and add additional salt or lime juice if needed. Add the oil 1 Tbsp at a time and process until you have a nice mixture but not too smooth. Tip the onions in and pulse once or twice just to mix.

Scoop into a bowl and chill until needed. Serve over roasted or steamed veggies, cooked grains, pasta, as a spread for sandwiches, as topping for soups and salads, etc. Thin with more olive oil if needed. Will last in fridge for about 1 week or so.