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Friday, June 18, 2010

A ‘Beat the Heat’ Recipe


Looking for a quick and easy recipe for this sizzling hot Father’s Day weekend? Do you like savory flavors even in warm weather? Then you might want to try this simple but tasty recipe using Couscous. This grain product can be bought loose or in a package. I prefer to buy it loose as it is less expensive in bulk and in my opinion, a better flavor than the packaged stuff. It is a cinch to cook plus one of the healthiest grain pastas. There are endless cooking ideas with couscous but here is a recent one we tested in our own kitchen. Hope you enjoy it on these last few days of spring that are sure to feel like summer.

You will need:

Couscous (3/4 cup)
1 medium-sized Eggplant
1 8.5 oz. can of Artichoke hearts
Pitted Nicoise or Kalamata olives (1/8 cup, chopped)
1 tomato (Diced)
1 Lemon (2 slices)
Minor’s Chicken Base or a similar product (2 teaspoons)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parmesan or Romano Cheese (1/4 cup grated)
This recipe serves two to four depending on the eater and what else is being served!

Boil 1 cup of water. Take the pan off the burner. Add 2 teaspoons of chicken base and 2 lemon slices in the water and stir. Then add ¾ cup of couscous. Cover and set aside for at least five minutes.

Peel and cube 1 medium sized eggplant. Spread out on a cutting board and lightly salt the cubes. Pat with a paper towel to absorb some of the bitter juices. Heat a frying pan, adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sautee eggplant until soft. While eggplant is simmering, drain the artichokes, cut in quarters and remove any tough leaves. This varies depending on the brand. Cut and dice the tomato. Chop up 1/8 cup of olives. When eggplant is done, toss in artichokes, olives and tomatoes to warm through. Take off burner.

Fluff the couscous with a fork, removing any lumps. Take out the lemon slices and toss. Add a glug of good quality extra virgin olive oil and the ¼ cup cheese of choice. Mix thoroughly. Place the couscous on the plate and add the mix of eggplant, artichokes, olives and tomatoes on the top. You can also garnish with thinly sliced fresh basil or spearmint. Serve with meat, salad or just by itself.

Hope you find some great things to do with Dad this weekend and don’t forget to keep on gardening!

P.S. We can’t forget our inspirational quote of the day by Fellini. “Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” I am sure he meant to stick gardening in there somewhere. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads!

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Check in for your daily share's worth of garden inspiration, landscape architecture and design tips; always original, not cookie cutter and copied. Just like our design work, we strive for unique! We invite you to contact Bilowz Associates, Inc., or to browse our portfolios. Like our Facebook follow on Twitter or subscribe to the blog to receive posts daily via email or a feed. You can follow with visuals on Pinterest and find us on LinkedIn and Houzz, too.  You can also find us back on our Google+ Business Page. (Landscape architects/Landscape Design/serving Massachusetts and New England.) Visit our landscape architectural design firm's website where creating design with balance and harmony is our story. http://www.bilowzassociates.com/

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)