Tag Archives: Zucchini

Gazpacho and Courgette’s Couscous Recipes

I neglected to post the recipe for the Gazpacho Couscous the other day, on purpose.  I thought the blog post was getting a little long so decided to just post the pictures from Tapas night .  But, I took a lot of pictures for the Couscous recipes, and since I did, I want to share with you.

By the way, I have to admit to something here, I was so excited when I saw the package of Israeli Couscous at World Market, I just grabbed it and hurried up and bought it and put it in my pantry to use.  Then when I pulled it out on Saturday to make these dishes, I read the label.

Yup, read the label.

Turns out what I bought was Israeli Couscous with lentils, green peas and orzo.   But since I had the water boiling already, I went ahead and cooked it.  And you know it was good.  I did taste it, and it was a blank slate.   So I decided to go ahead and make the Gazpacho Couscous anyway.   I mean if I didn’t tell people that I hadn’t read the label, they were never going to know it wasn’t quite what I had intended to cook.

Gazpacho Couscous Recipe

1 1/2 Cups uncooked Israeli Couscous, cooked according to package directions.

1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 small green pepper, finely diced
1 cucumber, finely diced
1 container  (8 oz.) grape tomatoes, cut in quarters
1/2 cup EVOO
1/4 cup (approx) Rice Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons (more or less) finely minced mint leaves.

Toss all together and place in fridge for at least 3 hours, then taste and adjust seasonings.

I have to say this turned out so good, but did make a lot, enough that I was able to share with friends.   In other words, they got to take some home with them.

And I also made some Courgettes and Mushroom Couscous as well.   That wasn’t as photogenic, but it sure tasted good.

Here’s the how to on that one.   Oh and Courgettes, we call them Zucchini on this side of the pond, personally, I’m going to continue to call them Courgettes, cause I think it elevates them, a little.   Makes them just a tad more elegant, and if you think of all the things you can make with a Zuch, well, I just think they deserve to be called something cool.

Courgettes and Mushroom Couscous

1 1/2 cups uncooked Israeli Couscous, prepared according to package directions
1 small courgette, diced  (zucchini)
8 oz. Fresh Mushrooms, diced  (next time I’m going to leave them in slices)
1 small onion, diced  (I used the other half of the red onion from the Gazpacho couscous)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped.
1/4 cup EVOO (Olive Oil)
2 tablespoons butter mixed with 2 tablespoons EVOO
Lemon juice from one lemon
Salt and Pepper to Taste.


Saute the mushrooms, courgettes and onion in a mixture of 2 tablespoons butter and EVOO, until softened.   Mix with the cooked couscous and then add the Lemon Juice and 1/4 cup EVOO and toss.  Add the the chopped parsley and taste.   Season to taste with salt and pepper.

So there you have it, the two Couscous recipes, that I got from  Chica Andaluza .  You should go by and check out her blog as well.  She’s got some great recipes and stories there.

“Chopped” my version

I’m a big fan of the Food Network show “Chopped.”   It’s always fun watching professional chefs open the mystery basket and proceed to make a meal out of such diverse ingredients like, oh gee, dried limes, butterscotch candies, french fries, lamb.  I guess lamb isn’t that weird, but when you have weird ingredients to go with it, and have to get it on the table, and not only looking good, but tasting great, well, my hat’s off to those cooks.   I’ve learned so much about different foodstuffs that we would never, ever see in our little town.    And totally in awe that they can make an appetizer, entree or dessert and do it so quickly, with very few missteps in the time allotted.

However, I have my version of Chopped, nearly every week.   When we plan our meals at the Senior Center, we try to use whatever Farmshare items have been brought in the previous week.  (Our weekly/biweekly stuff comes in just as we’re serving lunch most weeks).    In one memorable week we got cases of cream, heavy cream, which I proceeded to make butter out of, and because I froze a lot of it, we’ve continued to have fresh butter available every week for months now.  Plus of course the custard sauce, (Creme Anglaise) and other decadent goodies I make from the cream.   Which I love to do, let’s face it, I’m a frustrated baker, and love to make goodies.   This week I had some fun with whipped cream and hot chocolate mix.   And am kicking myself, I didn’t get a picture.  But let me describe it for you.   I made a yellow cake, from a mix, then Ginnie poked holes in the cake, poured cherry jello over it and placed it in the cooler.   I whipped up some cream and added a little sugar and then pulled out some hot chocolate mix we had in the pantry, added about 1/2 cup of the mix to the whipped cream and dolloped some of that on the cake.   Cherry and chocolate go so well together, and we used some of our Farmshare cream.   When I went to check on the dessert table, there were none left.

We’ve gotten zucchini and yellow squash in the past,  acorn squash, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant and various juices, milks, etc.     We do put out the food for our seniors to take, and believe me they do take advantage of it.   But we get to use some of the foodstuffs as well.   I’ve learned so many new cabbage dishes, and have introduced some of my favorite recipes to our lunch patrons as well.   I made some Rødkål a couple of weeks ago, plus I’ve made Squash Medley a few times.

I learned cabbage isn’t just for coleslaw and cabbage rolls.  Well, I already knew that, but I’ve learned many new ways of preparing cabbage as well.

And it’s just plain fun trying to come up with ideas on how to use some of the veggies we get.  And another thing we have in common with Chopped, we have a time limit, we have to have the meal ready by noon.  Which can mean that the last hour or so can get a little crazy making sure that all the various elements are ready on time.

This week we had Fried Tilapia, Hush Puppies, Shepherd’s Pie, Turnip Greens, Coleslaw, and Biscuits for lunch.     Robin and Ginnie did the fish and hush puppies, I kept an eye on the Turnip Greens, made the Shepherds Pie as well as having baked the three cakes earlier.   And we’re still trying to figure out what to make for next week.   So, I’ll keep you updated with that one.