Some of my cyber-friends participate in The Cottage Cooking Club, organized by my friend Andrea, the Kitchen Lioness. I’ve followed their cooking adventures for the past few months and have been tempted to join the party. This group is cooking vegetables in simple and delicious ways, as envisioned by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in River Cottage Veg. Andrea has kindly allowed me to participate as a guest this month, and try the group on for size.
I selected two recipes from Andrea’s August lineup: Quick couscous salad with peppers and feta (page 231) and Caramelized carrots with gremolata (page 355).
In my typical fashion, I waited until the last minute to complete my challenge. When I picked the couscous, I didn’t realize that I would be making another couscous recipe last week. That’s a lot of couscous in the same week… This recipe (quick couscous salad) aptly named. It was very easy to make. The couscous takes just 5 minutes to cook. Then, you drizzle the hot couscous with lemon juice and olive oil. While it cools down, you chop roasted red pepper, a cucumber, and some red onion, mince some parsley, and crumble some feta. All the ingredients get tossed together, and you have the perfect salad for lunch! It was like sort of like a simplified Greek salad with couscous instead of lettuce. I enjoyed this couscous and look forward to trying the tomato-olive variation while I still have overflowing bowls of cherry tomatoes on my counter.
The carrots were completely different than the couscous. Young carrots (from my farm share) are roasted in butter and oil until they are tender and caramelized. The hot carrots are tossed with gremolata made from lemon zest, garlic, and a generous amount of parsley. I can’t believe that’s all there is to it. The presentation was gorgeous, so colorful! And, I had an excuse to pull out my carrot serving dish. I think this will make more appearances on my table, especially in the colder months. The carrots might not be as fresh in the winter, but the overall flavors will bring a needed ray of sunshine.
To see what other participants made this month, check out their links here. And, thanks, Andrea, for letting me cook along this month!
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.