Posts Tagged ‘Zucchini’

Toasted Israeli Couscous with Broiled Vegetables

August 10, 2010

I’ll start with a minor confession, which may or may not be relevant by the time this post is over. I spent the vast majority of my youth really hating couscous.  I think it’s because in the sixth grade my science teacher made us each eat a handful of couscous grain by grain in order to demonstrate what it’s like to be a baleen whale trying to sustain itself on plankton. Maybe I was feeling sensitive–I had a solid wiring of braces at the time, and the resemblance I bore to a baleen whale was at its most striking (especially considering all the junk that got caught up in there. Tween years, I don’t miss you).  Beyond that, I wasn’t totally wowed by its grainy texture.  I didn’t start eating couscous of my own volition until I moved to New York after college. I was grocery shopping with a friend, who pointed out that there was a huge sale on couscous and immediately started filling up her basket. What the hell, I figured, and followed suit. It was super cheap and easy to make–which, let’s be honest, are two incredibly persuasive criteria for recent college grads.

I bring up the questionable relevance of this anecdote because this post isn’t really about couscous the way most of us know couscous. If you haven’t tried Israeli couscous, get ready to fall in love. Israeli couscous is totally different from the grainy stuff we ate in our whale simulation–it’s more like a pearl-shaped pasta.  It takes a little more time to prepare than the stuff you find in a box, but the results are far more spectacular–it has a chewy, satisfying bite that seems otherwise elusive in the Moroccan variety with which most people seem to be familiar.

(more…)

Advertisements

Things You can Make with Very Few Ingredients: Zucchini with Parmesan

August 11, 2009

IMG_2350

Sometimes you just want to be able to look inside your fridge, pull out just a couple of ingredients, and whip up something that is fast and delicious that doesn’t also come in a box containing the words “mac” and “Yellow Number 5.”  And sometimes you are lucky enough to have made a trip to the local greenmarket just before such a feeling strikes.

Year-round, but especially during the summer when it is at its most abundant, zucchini makes its way into my kitchen.  The possibilities for it are endless–you can grill it and put it on a sandwich; you can make really delicious bread or muffins out of it; put it in soups or chili (yes, chili!), make ratatouille, etc etc etc. But if you’re feeling less than ambitious (ie, hungry and lazy), you can also prepare it really simply with just some lemon, parmesan, and salt and pepper. It’s great as a side dish for a grilled piece of meat or fish, but I’m not sorry to admit that sometimes I’ll make a heaping plate of it and enjoy it on its own. It’s so easy I feel bad calling it a recipe!

(more…)