Friday, April 22, 2011

Couscous Greek Salad AND Basic Vinaigrette Dressing

"Cooking is a way of offering love. Food that is cooked with love, guided by knowlege of the ingredients being cooked, and served in an inspiring atmosphere becomes healing ... Most disease is traced ultimately to incorrect diet. The cure for such wrong eating is not better drugs, nor necessarily in better restaurants, but in reclaiming our oldest right and duty, to cook for ourselves and those we love. Though right diet may not always be enough to correct diseases, few diseases can really be alleviated without it. Moreover, right diet is the essence of disease prevention and the foundation of a happy and healthy life." (Harish Johari)

Greek Couscous Salad

Here is the couscous recipe that was such a big hit at last week's luncheon. It really is just the recipe from the back of the box, with a couple of embellishments encouraged by my friend Julie: chicken stock instead of water, fresh parsley, and TOASTED almonds. My mouth is watering as I type this ... I am making it again today!

1 package Near East Couscous Original Plain
2 c. water
2 t. Better Than Bouillon (chicken flavor)
1/4 t. freshly-ground pepper
1/2 t. salt
2 T. FRESH lemon juice
3 T. olive oil
2 large tomatoes, medium-diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 green onions, sliced 1/2"
2 T. FRESH parsley, chopped
1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 c. sliced almonds, **toasted

Prepare to couscous according the the directions on the box, adding the Better Than Bouillon to the boiling water for a more delicious, savory flavor.

Dump prepared couscous into a wide, shallow serving bowl. Toss with lemon juice and olive oil. Add vegetables, toss, and cover and refrigerate for four-ish hours. (If you're "under the gun", you can serve it all right away. It just won't be quite as tasty ... the flavors won't have had a chance to "meld".)

Before serving, toast almonds in a small, dry nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Toss gently until they become fragrant and lightly-browned, and remove from heat.

Add feta and almonds to couscous, toss, add a little more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy the yumminess! (6 servings)

Basic Vinaigrette Dressing

Guess what?? This old, handwritten recipe card has been in my collection for 25 years, given to me by my wise mother when I got married. I had never made it until recently, and now it is my favorite salad dressing, hands-down. I make a fresh little batch every couple of weeks.

1 c. olive oil
6 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. finely-chopped purple onion
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1 t. Worcestershire Sauce

Put all ingredients in a small Mason jar with tight-fitting lid, or fancy salad-dressing-shaker-jar-thingey. Shake vigorously to combine ingredients. Flavor is better if made in advance. Refrigerate.

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