Friday, June 13, 2008


I'm hitting the ground at full speed today, getting ready for the first wave of company due sometime this afternoon, and then my sister and her entourage, who will be arriving later this evening. I'll be shopping, cooking, and doing last-minute prep as soon as I leave the computer. Curious what we're having? You'll be familiar with a couple of the items on the menu: Cape Verde Chicken (which I've now added more color to than what is pictured) and, for dessert, Oléron Raspberry Tart. The chicken is cheap to make, delicious, and easy, and the tart, of course, is a showstopper. I'll also be making the guacamole from Saveur Magazine, a side salad of orzo with greek spices and Kalamata olives, and another Cook's Illustrated special, a cherry tomato salad with a dressing based on the tomatoes' own concentrated juice. Essence of tomato! I'll be sharing all these recipes in this space in the near future. Sound good? I hope so!

Today's recipe is a very simple and versatile couscous salad based on one from a cooking bible of mine, Cook's Illustrated. Potential additions are limited only to your imagination; use this as a basic guide if you like. As with the other couscous salad I recently featured, I prefer the multi-colored vegetable couscous to the plain, and I also add more flavor by cooking the couscous in chicken stock instead of plain water. And although I've never tried it, I'll bet protein-rich quinoa would make a great substitute. As usual, if anyone tries it, I hope they will report their results.


2 cups water or low-sodium chicken stick
1 1/2 cups plain or multi-colored couscous
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 medium clove garlic , minced
1/3cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 can (16-ounces) chickpeas , drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 medium scallions , chopped
4 ounces feta cheese , crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring water to boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat, add couscous and stir. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Transfer couscous to serving bowl and fluff with fork.

Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, and oil in small bowl. Add lemon juice mixture and chickpeas to couscous, toss well to combine, and cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Toss in parsley, scallions, and feta. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.


Mim said...

I knew I'd get good food inspiration today. The couscous looks good enough for my breakfast today.. just kidding as I am off to the grocery.
Thanks for stopping by with your kind comments.
I need to kick myself in gear!
Have a great time with your guests/family this wknd. All of the food sounds so good.
I have many of your recips to try yet, but the ones I've tried were wonderful.

Kat said...

Does your restaurant serve it to go?

Ralph said...

For a small add-on (airfare), Kat.....

Anonymous said...

Another hit. If you want to read a story about Stormie, the cat with cancer, they put her down today and the writer who wrote from her point of view just brought tears to my eyes. Find it here:

or copy to your browser.

Ralph said...

Thanks for that link, Z&M. I finally had a chance to read it today. What a sweet, sad story.