Wild Salmon with Pearl Couscous, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Lemon Oregano Oil; Dandelion Salad

by Jennifer

You can make the tomatoes and oil earlier in the day;  bring to room temperature before serving.  The salad greens, too, can be washed and spun dry ahead of time, and left in the refrigerator.  The salmon recipe is an adaptation from Gourmet, and serves 6, as does the salad.

Wild Salmon with Pearl Couscous, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Lemon Oregano Oil

For tomatoes and lemon-oregano oil:

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, whole
  • 1 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • 24 fresh oregano leaves, plus 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • grated zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon

For couscous:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 1/4 cups pearl (also called Israeli) couscous – I used whole wheat
  • 1 3/4 cups no-chicken broth
  • 1 cup water

For salmon:

  • 6 6-oz. pieces salmon fillet with skin, preferably wild and sustainably caught
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise

For tomatoes and oil:  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Combine tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper in a small shallow dish.

Heat olive oil in a 10” skillet over medium heat until shimmering, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Remove pan from heat and add the basil and oregano leaves.

Pour oil over the tomatoes.

Roast tomatoes in the oven for about 2 hours, until very soft but not falling apart.

When cool, use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes to a bowl, then pour the oil mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a separate container, discarding solids.  Stir lemon zest, juice, and chopped oregano into the oil.

For the couscous:

Heat olive oil in a 3-quart pot over medium heat.  Add the couscous and toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, 3 – 4 minutes.

Add broth and water, bring to a simmer, then cook, covered, for 12 minutes

or until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let sit, covered, another 10 minutes,

then stir in 3 TBS of the lemon oregano oil.

While the couscous is cooking, make the salmon.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 500 degrees, with the rack in the upper third of the oven.

Arrange salmon skin-side down, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, then roast for 12 minutes or until just cooked through.

To serve, divide couscous on plates, top with a piece of salmon, then tomatoes, olives, and a generous drizzle of lemon-oregano oil.

Dandelion Salad 

  • 4 oz. dandelion greens, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz. escarole, inner leaves preferred, chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Toss together dandelion greens, escarole and parsley.

Whisk together lemon juice through pepper.

Pour dressing over greens and toss well to combine.

Advertisements

Last Minute Minestrone

by Jennifer

I made this soup after realizing I had cranberry beans and a parmesan rind in the freezer, tomatoes on the counter, fresh basil growing in a pot on the back deck, and not a lot of time to make dinner.  And it was good!  Substitute the beans with your favorite (cannellini would be good), if you don’t happen to have cooked cranberry beans lurking in your freezer, too.  Parmesan rinds are a good way to add “umami” to a soup, especially a meatless one.  I served it with Challah, and arugula tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium-large carrots, chopped into uniformly-sized pieces
  • 1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous, preferably whole wheat
  • 3 cups cooked beans
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (I used Not – Chicken Soup I’d made earlier in the week)
  • parmesan rind
  • 2 cups chopped, seeded tomatoes (slice tomatoes in half, squeeze out seeds, chop)
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add celery and carrots and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

Stir in Israeli couscous and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add beans, broth and parmesan rind;  bring soup to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in tomatoes, basil and pepper.  Serve with freshly grated cheese on top.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp, Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemon, Sauteed Spinach

by Jennifer

I absolutely love this Israeli couscous recipe, and it gave me an opportunity to use my preserved Meyer lemons!  The dinner serves 4 adults, but the couscous really serves 6, so there’s some for lunch the next day.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp

  • 1 lb. shrimp, preferably wild-caught, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Marinate the shrimp in the garlic and oil for 15 – 45 minutes.  Prepare grill.  Season with salt and pepper.

Thread on skewers and grill, turning once,

until just cooked through, 5 – 7 minutes.

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemon – adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/4” dice
  • 3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cup Israeli couscous (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 3” long cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (see below)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup diced preserved lemon rind
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

On a heavy rimmed baking sheet, toss together the diced butternut squash and 1 TBS oil, season with salt, and roast in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes.

Transfer squash to a serving bowl.

In a 350 degree oven or toaster oven, toast the pine nuts until golden and fragrant, about 5 – 8 minutes.

Heat 1 TBS oil in a heavy 10” skillet and cook the onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to turn golden.

Transfer to the bowl with the squash.  Add the pine nuts, raisins, lemon rind, and ground cinnamon.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the couscous, with the cinnamon stick, for 10 minutes, then drain.  Discard cinnamon stick and

add couscous, along with the parsley and the last TBS of oil, to the vegetables and toss to combine well.

Sauteed Spinach 

  • 1 lb. baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat;

add garlic and when it’s fragrant,

add the spinach in batches, tossing with tongs.

When all the spinach is in and has wilted, season with salt and pepper.