Monday, June 20

Smoked Mozzarella, Fruit and Almond Couscous

Ok, with tomorrow being the first day of summer my post of this recipe is probably totally inappropriate. It's totally off-season. "Apples?" you're asking, "You want us to eat apples? With dried fruit? Should I don a sweater and sip on some hot cider as well?" I mean, if ya want. It's a free country, but let's not really push it here. This recipe is really just about all the fall I can take right now.. anyone can take right now. If it makes you feel better, I made some sauteed zucchini to go right along with this. And drank iced tea. And looked at pictures of Jeremy's fabuloso vegetable garden that is about 8 months pregnant. Sha lalalalalalalala la la-ti-da! Every day can't be a cookout people. So let's be happy we live in a time and place where we can import all the off-season foods we want. Buy fresh and local. Most of the time. 

Fall? NO!
This couscous dish is more of a salad. It's supposed to be served cold; mine was served warm. But I think that played into the flavors of the cheese very nicely. So if you are eating right away, I suggest keeping the couscous warm. I suppose if you are preparing ahead of time, this would be delicious served cold as well. Served warm, this dish has great complexity. The sweetness of the fruit, the smokey and salty flavors from the cheese, and the fresh taste of parsley combine with a nutty flavor in a very balanced way. The original recipe, from this book was for a farro salad, but I subbed the couscous to be frugal. It was a great success. One more note: I live with 2 boys. They like to eat meat. I didn't make any with this; they didn't complain. Another great success.

Soundtrack: ON REPEAT. Not really. Ok, I mean, it has 217 plays as of right now. I am at least 50 of them. Did I just admit that? Oof.

Smoked Mozzarella, Fruit and Almond Couscous

10 garlic cloves (I suggest skipping to step one with these puppies before prepping the rest)
1 tbs honey
white wine
1/4 c. fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
6 oz smoked mozzarella, chopped
1/2 c. almonds, chopped
2 red delicious apples
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 c. couscous (to prepare according to package directions)
1/2 c. craisins
2 tbs EVOO
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Peel the garlic cloves. Lay on a square sheet of aluminum foil (large enough to create a sealed pocket in which to roast the garlic) and drizzle with honey and a splash of white white. The garlic will roast in the oven for around 40 minutes. (This will smell amazing!)

Meanwhile, prep the rest of the ingredients. Chop your cheese, parsley, and almonds. Chop the apples and toss in a small bowl with lemon juice, then fill the bowl with enough water to soak the apple pieces.

Then, heat a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add chopped almonds and cooked until toasted, stirring often. This will take between 5-10 minutes, depending on the coarseness of your chop. While the almonds are toasting, prepare the cup of couscous, according to package directions. 

Once both are finished, in a large bowl, combine the vinegar and EVOO with a whisk. Add the couscous (make sure to get to the "fluffed" stage first!!), almonds, apples (drain first), parsley, craisins and mozzarella and stir until combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve (or refrigerate to serve as a cold salad later). 

Honey bear = still one of my favorite things ever.

Great breath all around!

Just had to take the opportunity to show off my chopper here...


Bun's like parsley too!

Delicious cheese

Everything prepped.. and then pretend you're on TV!


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