All hail the sun, blue skies, green grass, and daffodils popping up around every corner!
With a full week of spring weather (almost) officially under our belts, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve turned the corner towards a pleasant season and a bomb ass summer.
While I was pumped to bust out as many soups, roasted root veggies, and piping hot oven dishes as I could when the colder months rolled in, I am happily bypassing the butternut squashes and parsnips at the grocery store, and instead find myself heading straight for anything with color, crunch, and coolness.
To me, seasonal cooking not only connects me more to the food I’m making, it reminds me that I’m a child of the Earth and should stop, drop, and listen to her when she doles out the differing bounties of each season.
Hippie shit aside, I think eating seasonally has become a frighteningly rare occurrence in our culture, and even though obviously I eat bananas, out of season tomatoes, and frozen berries, I appreciate in-season produce so much and try my hardest to revolve my cooking ventures around the natural turn of the planet.
As the weather takes a turn for the better, my fridge is fast becoming a rainbow and my creative culinary juices are flowing once again, HALLELUJAH! To me, summer dishes mean vibrant hues, grilled goods, huge salads, and tons of fresh herbs. I broke the soil of spring with this couscous salad and swear I could taste summer on my spoon.
For the Salad:
- 1.5 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 large red swiss chard leaves, including the steams, chopped
- 4 large kale leaves, stems not included, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1 large handful flat leaf parsley, roughly minced
- 1/2 large cucumber, diced
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Dressing:
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (the best quality you can afford)
- 2 tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat, add couscous and put lid on. All liquid should be dissolved and couscous should be cooked and tender in around 10 minutes.
Put cooked couscous in the fridge and let cool while you prep the rest of the salad. In a steamer pot, steam swiss chard and kale for just a few minutes until leaves are wilted and the chard steams are fork tender. Take out of pot immediately and let cool.
While the couscous and greens cool, make your dressing by mincing the garlic, and putting it in a small bowl with the oil, vinegar, and oregano. Whisk until everything is combined and set aside.
Once couscous has cooled, grate your carrots, dice your cucumber, drain and rinse your chickpeas, chop your parsley, and through everything into a large bowl along with the greens and couscous. Mix thoroughly, pour vinaigrette and pumpkin seeds over salad, sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper, and mix again, ensuring that everything is well coated in the dressing.
Serve immediately or let cool in the fridge until it reaches your desired temperature.
I enjoyed this alongside some Asian style BBQ tempeh on my cute little balcony after a long day’s work. Sink your teeth into the season with this salad, folks!
once again, HALLELUJAH!