Entries in side dishes (2)


couscous with mushrooms and cranberries


Israeli couscous is much larger than the more common North African couscous. I really like it as the base for a salad so am happy to see it popping up in more and more supermarkets. It is also sometimes called "pearl couscous" or Lebanese couscous. This recipe is a great side dish year round. It can be served warm or room temperature, and goes as well with roasted salmon as it does with poultry or red meat. I also love the leftovers when I am looking for a quick lunch or snack. This recipe is also great for a crowd and can easily be doubled or tripled.


1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 box israeli couscous (6.3 ounces, about 1 1/2 cups)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 small onion, finely chopped

6 ounces portobello or crimini mushrooms, coarse stems removed, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat oven to 350°. Place almonds on a sheet pan in a single layer and toast until fragrant and golden brown. Set aside.


Place cranberries and red wine vinegar in a small bowl and stir so all cranberries are moistened. Set aside.


Heat half the olive oil in medium pot set over high heat and add the cous cous. Cook, stiring constantly, until couscous is golden brown. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until all liquid has been absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.


While the couscous is simmering, heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until nicely browned. Remove from heat and stir into the cooked couscous. Add almonds, cranberries and their liquid, and parsley and stir to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.




lentil salad


I first started making vats of these lentils when I was pregnant with my twins and hungry all the time! Now I make it for just about every school potluck meal. It’s perfect for grownups just out of the refrigerator, as well as at room temp in the kids’ lunch boxes.


Cook 2 cups french lentils with enough water to cover generously (an inch or two above the lentils).


Add 2 peeled cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. If you tie the thyme into a bundle it makes it easier to fish out the stems after cooking.


Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 12-25 minutes or until tender. If the liquid evaporates before the lentils are done just add a bit more water. Once the lentils are tender drain any remaining liquid and transfer lentils to a bowl.


Remove the garlic cloves and save for use in the vinaigrette. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stems.


While lentils are cooking dice about 6 carrots and 6 stalks of celery. Add to the bowl with the lentils.


For the dressing, mash the garlic and chop it into a paste. Add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine and add to lentil salad. Chop a bunch of fresh parsley leaves and stir into salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve.