Monday, August 9, 2010

Simple Summer Salad + A Giveaway!

Don't you hate it when life gets in the way of your hobbies? After weeks of working 14 day stretches with no time off, followed by a serious, back-woods, roughing -it, camping trip filled with bears and wolves and too many bug bites to count, I am back home and back to the blog. Finally. And what a better way to start a new stretch of (hopefully much more frequent) posts than with a giveaway for a $40 gift certificate to CSN stores. CSN stores is a group of online stores where you can purchase anything from dinnerware, to picnic baskets, to kitchen gadgets, plus lots of other fun things for your home and garden. Exciting huh? More on that in a bit.

For the past few weeks, I have noticed that I keep stumbling upon blogs which start out with something like: "As the summer is winding down..." or "Now that summer is almost over...". Excuse me? Where are you living? Here in chicago, we've got another 5 day 90+ degree heatwave coming at us. This hardly screams 'fall is coming', as much as I would love for that to be true. This may sound weird but I am ready for fall. I am sick of it being hot and sticky and rainy, it may be the Minnesotan in me. Give me changing leaves and fuzzy sweaters and big ol' pots of soup over the hot and humid weather any day.

Oh well, I will wait patiently for fall. Meanwhile, I will console myself with summer's bounty and tell myself that when it is 10 below zero I will be wishing I had fresh zucchini and cauliflower to make this bright, healthy grain and cous cous salad (either that or I will just tuck into the couch with a blanket and a big bowl of chili, my bets are on the latter).

Now about that $40 gift certificate. (I just wanted to make you read my whole post first :-) All you have to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment on this post and tell me:

What summer dish you are itching to make before fall arrives?

Leave a description or even a link to a recipe, and I will pick one using a random number generator. You have until Monday, August16th at midnight to enter (sadly, this is open to US and Canada residents only). On Tuesday, I will announce the winning comment here so be sure to check back then to claim your prize! Until then, go outside, put your feet up, crack open an ice cold beer, and enjoy this cous cous salad.

Israeli Cous Cous & Wheat Berry with Veggies and Goat Cheese
makes enough for 6-8 main courses or 12-14 side dishes, easily halve-able

1 cup Israeli cous cous
1 cup wheat berries
2 small-medium zucchini, quartered and sliced into 1/8 inch slices
1 small head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
4-5 green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup fresh italian parsley, chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

For the dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

To finish:

1-2 tablespoons chopped parsely
3/4 - 1 cup crumbled goat cheese

In a small sauce pan, combine wheat berries with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Drain off any excess water and set aside to cool.

In another small saucepan combine cous cous with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Drain off any excess water and set aside to cool.

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute a few minutes just until fragrant. Turn heat to high and add the zucchini and cauliflower and saute until starting to brown a bit, but still retain some crunch, about 3-5 minutes, tossing a few times. Set veggies aside to cool.

In a small, sealable bowl (or mason jar) combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and salt and pepper. Close container tightly and shake until completely emulsified. Set aside until just before serving.

In a large bowl, combine cooled wheat berries, cous cous, veggies, green onions, parsley, to disperse evenly, and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can store this mixture in the fridge overnight, but I would recommend dressing just before serving, otherwise the zucchini and cous cous will get soggy. When ready to serve toss with just enough dressing to coat, and top with a generous amount of goat cheese crumbles and parsley.

30 comments:

Rian said...

This sounds delicious, and I didn't see any disclaimer saying that family members are ineligible...so I better win! But seriously, that is the dressing I put on everything, and you know how I feel about goat cheese. Yum!
P.s. I'm totally with you on being ready for fall. Sweaters and chili please!

Adriana @ Bittersweet Baker said...

This salad sounds like it's a great dish for summer. My favorite thing to make during summer is ice cream! It's not a dish, but I really want to make chocolate sorbet before summer ends.

Mollie said...

I am totally on the same page as you - FALL CANNOT COME FAST ENOUGH!!!

But unfortunately in DC we have many many more weeks of awful heat to go...

Anywho, I've been wanting to try making gazpacho!

And I may make this salad for dinner tonight!

Karen said...

Hoping to make some ice cream - I haven't done that in too many years!
karenreichmann@hotmail.com

The Fam said...

I think I might make this tonight! We have feta but no goat cheese, I think it would still turn out great. Here in upstate NY it is STILL very HOT!

There are several grilling marinates I'd like to try before the summer's over.

shannoncarman at yahoo dot com

Meegan Bright Newton said...

Oh this sounds so good! I would really just like to grill out just about anything , especially some summer veggies! But this heat could really ease off so standing next to the grill wouldn't be so miserable!

Domestic Diva said...

Ice cream with the fresh peaches off of our tree. We'll be making it very soon. Yum!

zaza said...

(zazafrasca@gmail.com)

That salad looks perfect for this hot Austin TX weather. The one recipe that I have made recently that fits the heat and wallet is this amazing faux pesto from luculliandelights. Turns summer's abundence of zucc's into creamy light pasta.
PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI CREAM AND A SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND PINE NUT TOPPING

Read more: http://www.luculliandelights.com/2010/07/pasta-with-zucchini-cream-and-sun-dried.html#ixzz0wEb3iMSr

Anonymous said...

I really want to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie! It would be my first pie ever and am a little scared

meeyeehere said...

I love just a nice cold fruit salad which I guess can be eaten anytime but you appreciate the coldness of the fruit so much more in the heat.I love it with watermelon,banana,stawberries,grapes and honey dew melons!
jacksoncrisman@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

pizza with fresh figs!

I had some at the beginning of summer at one of my favorite restaurants and it just begs to be recreated.

-TC

counting_shipwrecks at yahoo dot com

Klee said...

I found a recipe for cherry limeade bars that I am dying to make before summer ends!

brad wong said...

I read bicycling magazine and they always have healthy and great looking things. I'm not too experienced cooking but this looks great!

http://www.bicycling.com/training-nutrition/nutrition-weight-loss/tastemaker

Stephanie said...

Awesomme giveaway! I am super excited about the fall but...I really think we need to make a few more summer salads!

Tomato and basil from my garden, avocado, walnuts, lemon, juice, grey salt and fresh black pepper sounds like the perfect summer salad!

Heather said...

Summer Chili looks great! Before summer is over I can't wait to make those grilled zucchinis wrapped with goat cheese and sprinkled with parm!

Anonymous said...

Since when the cus cus is Israili food?? It is Morocan! Unless you are originally from Moroco.. could be.

MommyBee said...

I'd love to make a nice cold noodles salad before summer is over. Usually I toss together noodles, cooked chicken, and blanched veggies with peanut based sauce. Yum@

Bria said...

All these are sounding pretty delicious so far, and my list is growing with each suggestion!!

Anonymous, this isn't an Israeli dish, or a Moroccan dish. This is a Bria-made-it-up-as-she-went dish. The type of cous cous used here is called Israeli Cous Cous, I don't know why it is called that, but it differs from regular cous cous as it is a lot larger, you may also see it called pearled cous cous.

heather said...

this salad and today's chili look delicious. the recipe i can't wait to try is Mexican corn with crema: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/view?recipeID=36. hopefully this weekend, before fresh sweet corn is gone!

cheers,

*heather*

Jessica said...

Welcome back and I hope you enjoyed your time off!

This salad looks quite tasty, I will have to give it a try.

As for the heat...I agree. We're still in the high 80's to mid 90's here in Wisconsin (heat wave for this place) and my relatives in Oklahoma, God bless 'em are in the triple digits. Ouch!

jessyburke88@gmail.com

Topher said...

I want to make a nice homemade ice cream. Chocolate of course.

Thanks for the giveaway

Chris

zekks at yahoo dot coom

Renee said...

I love Israeli Cous Cous and Wheatberries. I can not wait to make this! It has all my favorite ingredients!

All summer I have been meaning to make a Blueberry and Peach crisp. (But my blueberries keep going into cereal!)

Anne said...

Tomato and corn pie! It must be made before all the delicious items are out of season!

Anonymous said...

A tomato/feta couscous salad: nothing better (to me!) than heirloom tomatoes :).

siu00001@gmail.com

Zahra said...

I'm more of a dessert girl myself so I'm itching to make some lemon squares!

crackingtheegg said...

Hmm gazpacho and a nice watermelon cocktail.

Lori said...

I still haven't made Gazpacho this year and I just love it!!! I think a trip to the farmer's market is in order to make this tasty soup!

susitravl said...

We haven't had grilled corn yet - better hurry before all the good corn is gone!

Carolyn-What Life Dishes Out said...

Bummer! I'm a day late...and I guess that makes me potentially $40 short....but I figured I'd chime in anyway. I have been dying to make Bruschetta and Fresh Salsa but my tomatoes JUST started coming in. It doesn't really feel like we've had summer yet and so like you, I just refuse to believe we are near the end of it!!!

Anonymous said...

Vitello Tonnato is my must have summer dish.
In a nice crispy baguette is the perfect to go meal.
andreamcelesia@gmail.com

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