Monthly Archives: August 2014
It’s another confetti recipe for French Fridays with Dorie. This week it’s a Couscous Salad.
I didn’t really think much about it. I just gathered my ingredients, switched around a few things because of what I had on hand, and blindly made the salad. When I looked at the finished bowl, I was wowed! The bowl was colorful, the flavors were varied, and I couldn’t stop eating it.
This couscous salad has a Moroccan flair. First, the couscous is cooked with warm-flavored spices (ginger, cumin, cinnamon), garlic, and turmeric for color. I made half the amount of couscous (also halving the liquid and spices), but didn’t adjust the other ingredients, so there was a little less grain per bite, but this still made a gigantic bowl.
Dorie said she usually adds what she has on hand, so I took that as license to tweak the salad to work for me. Anyone who has followed my blog for a while will know that raisins weren’t going to fly at my house… I used my favorite savory substitute for raisins, oil-cured olives (from Morocco, no less). For the lemon zest, I minced some of the preserved lemon I had leftover from our last confetti dish, tuna confit. And, finally,I used a purple (not red) pepper and, because peas are no longer in season here, I blanched some green and wax beans, and sliced them thinly.
This could easily be the vegetarian star of a summer meal. I really loved it!
If you’d like to try this yourself, you can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. It’s also on-line at Epicurious To see whether the other Doristas liked this as much as I did, check out their links here.
I had a hard time generating enthusiasm for this week’s recipe for French Fridays with Dorie: Roasted Peppers. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. In fact, they are delicious. It’s just that I regularly roast peppers, so it wasn’t the most exciting recipe for me.
On the positive side, I usually broil them. Ever the rule-follower, I tried Dorie’s “new to me” method of roasting them in a hot oven instead. Mary’s commented during the week that she had to crank the oven up from the recommended 425F to 500F. I took that to heart and started at 450F, figuring that if the first side of peppers wasn’t charring when it was time to turn them, I could turn it up further. My selected temperature worked like a charm. I’m not sure what would have happened at the recommended lower temperature, but at 450F, turning the peppers every 15 minutes, my peppers were done after 45 minutes.
The roasted peppers rest in a covered bowl until they are cool enough to handle. I used the foil that lined the baking sheet, but usually I use a plate as a cover. Then, the charred skin is scrapped off, and the seeds and membranes removed from the insides. As the pepper are tidied up, they tear themselves into natural pieces.
The pepper strips are layered into a dish, sprinkled with salt and pepper and herbs (in my case, simply parsley) and then doused with fruity olive oil. Voila!
The roasted peppers made the perfect addition to our “grazing” dinner, or indoor picnic, alongside sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, beet salad, and the sweetest of summer corn.
Have a great weekend! I’ll be admiring the view of the lake here at our cottage in Maine. Can you hear Mama and Baby Loon calling?