Today I went on a lunch date with an old friend. We ate at a great restaurant right near the Williamsburg bridge in Brooklyn. Diner. We sat outside on the patio with a delightful sunny breeze drifting by. Our server was quite the charmer, he even sat down at our table as he described the menu items, which included rabbit terrine, fried green tomato and egg sandwich on brioche, fried chicken with a biscuit and homemade peach jam, and bratwurst. We ended up sharing the market salad (purslane, corn, tomatoes, buttermilk dressing) and the fried green tomato and egg sandwich. The sandwich came with crunchy-on-the-outside-soft-centered fries, specked with flaky salt chunks. It was a darling lunch. Diner even has a quarterly magazine that I cannot wait to delve into. I then proceeded to drag my old friend up and around Williamsburg, making a quick coffee stop at Bakeri and heading back to Manhattan via the 4$ East River Ferry.
Tonight as I was brainstorming dinner ideas, that market salad with purslane (which, I believe is an edible weed) was still in my thoughts. It was just so satisfying. And it definitely counter-acted those delicious salty fries that I was eating, and those AMAZING sloppy joes that I made for dinner last night (on a toasted English muffin, with tortilla chips and roasted broccoli).
Israeli couscous in a salad. My dinner (not to be confused with Diner). My family used to call Israeli couscous “octopus eggs.” I still don’t know why that never irked me. Add some nectarines and dried sour cherries. Feta cheese and garbanzo beans. With cubed hacked cucumbers, slivered radishes, and spinach leaves. A cool crunchy sweet and savory salad. While I appreciate a nice homemade dressing, I am too lazy in the comfort of my own home and almost always opt for a drizzle of balsamic and olive oil with flaky salt and course ground pepper. It never fails me.
Oooo, and I want to tell you about a few of the things that I have been making this last week or so:
Homemade Pizza. It was quite good, however I went a tad overboard with the fresh pulled mozz. And my dang oven likes to burn things very quickly and set off the smoke alarm. Needless to say, I still need to perfect my pizza making and my fix my old, has-a-mind-of-its-own oven before I give you a recipe. BUT, a tip from me to you is to always throw a dash of cornmeal on the pan before baking. Texture, baby, it’s all about texture.
I also mentioned my wacko oven earlier. I was trying to make these cookies from David Lebovitz. I only baked off 4 of them tonight. I caught them just before my oven was about to cinch them to burnt smithereens. They were chewy and crispy and chocolaty and perfect with milk. I still have dough in my fridge. I am going to figure this oven mishap out.
In the meantime, Couscous.
Israeli Couscous Salad
1 box of Israeli Couscous
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 block of feta, cubed
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
1/4 of an English cucumber, cubed
1/2 a large nectarine, cubed
2 small radishes, quartered and thinly sliced
1-2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar
1. Make your couscous according to the directions on the box. (toast the couscous in a pot, pour boiling water over it, simmer until done).
2. Have all of your add-ins chopped and ready to go. Add the couscous and toss. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and add salt and pepper.
**A poached or hard-boiled egg sounds delightful if you are looking to boost up the protein in this salad.