Archives for June, 2011

2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 10-ounce box couscous

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon (generous) grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 15- to 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2/3 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup minced green onions
Fresh cilantro sprigs

Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in medium saucepan. Add couscous; stir 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Transfer to large bowl to cool.
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, and cardamom to blend in small bowl. Drizzle over couscous. Mix in garbanzo beans, dates, almonds, minced cilantro, and green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Serves 4.

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 cups lentils
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 orange, red, or yellow (or a mix) bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dices
4 scallions, thinly sliced


In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook lentils until crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water to stop further cooking, and drain again.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, mustard, and tarragon. Add drained lentils, bell peppers, and scallions; season well with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

This is from Cook’s Illustrated which is why is has so many steps, but we made this for our house warming party and it was a hit. We used the no boiling lasagna noodles from Trader Joe’s that were actually pretty good

1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 pound eggplants (about 2 small), cut into 1/2-inch dice
5 tablespoons olive oil , divided
6 cloves garlic , minced (divided)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves
Salt and pepper
15 no-boil lasagna noodles (dried, 7-by-3 1/2-inch)
1 pound mozzarella cheese , shredded (about 4 cups)
5 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2/3 cup)
Cooking spray for foil

1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle postions and heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss zucchini and eggplant with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 4 minced garlic cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread out vegetables on 2 greased baking sheets; roast, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Set vegetables aside.

2. Heat remaining oil and garlic in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil or parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into large measuring cup. Add enough water to make 3 1/2 cups.

3. Spread 1/2 cup sauce evenly over bottom of greased 13-by-9-inch lasagne pan. Lay three noodles crosswise over sauce, making sure they do not touch each other or sides of pan. Spread 3/4 cup prepared vegetables evenly over noodles, 1/2 cup sauce evenly over vegetables, and 3/4 cup mozzarella and 2 generous tablespoons Parmesan evenly over sauce.

Repeat layering of noodles, vegetables, sauce, and cheeses three more times. For fifth and final layer, lay final three noodles crosswise over previous layer and top with with remaining 1 cup tomato sauce, 1 cup mozzarella, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. (Can be wrapped with plastic and aluminum foil and frozen for up to 1 month. If frozen, defrost in refrigerator).

4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Cover pan with large sheet foil greased with cooking spray. Bake 25 minutes (30 minutes if chilled); remove foil and continue baking until top turns golden brown in spots, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let lasagne rest 5 minutes. Cut and serve immediately.

We knew that no-boil noodles would save time, but we weren’t sure of the best way to handle them in our quick vegetable lasagna recipe. We learned that one secret to cooking successfully with no-boil noodles is to leave your tomato sauce a little watery. The noodles can then absorb water without drying out the dish overall. Another is to cover the lasagna with foil for part of the cooking time, thereby preventing the loss of moisture. But we found out that it was important in our quick vegetable lasagna recipe to control the amount of moisture added by the vegetables by precooking (either sautéing or roasting) them, which had the added advantage of boosting the flavor of the finished lasagna as well. (less)
Smoked mozzarella, Gruyère, or Fontina can be substituted for the mozzarella and Pecorino Romano for the Parmesan. Also, three and one-half cups of your favorite prepared tomato sauce can be substituted for the sauce in this recipe. Because no-boil noodles come twelve to sixteen in a box, we suggest buying two boxes to ensure that you’ll have the fifteen required for this lasagne.

Makes 8 drinks

1 bottle of dry red wine
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 unpeeled lemon, sliced
1/2 unpeeled navel orange, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup Cointreau or other orange liquor
1 bottle sparking white wine

Put wine, juice and fruit slices in a heatproof pitcher. Bring sugar, water, brandy and Cointreau just to a simmer in a a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then pour into pitcher. Chill, covered at least 1 hour and up to 24. Add sparkling white before serving.