Summer CSA | Week 9
In our box: tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, onions, fennel, arugula, green beans, carrots, potatoes, and kohlrabi.
The produce keeps rolling in. We are especially enjoying the cucumbers. So crunchy and almost sweet. Several years ago when we had a (ahem) productive garden we had so many cucumbers. We found that lacto-fermentation was our favorite way to enjoy them after the season was done, but since then I haven't had a surplus to be able to try it again. I'm missing those pickles.
Steve and I have a confession. Even though Sun Gold cherry tomatoes are a "customer favorite," they're not our favorite. We get them every year, for several weeks, in our CSA and I always struggle to find ways to use them. The flavor is wonderful, but to us they seem like all skin. We have a pasta recipe that we modify a bit to include some more veggies and that we do enjoy, but I have to say that this week's couscous and cucumber salad is the first time that we ate those tomatoes and loved them. Because they were blended, we got to enjoy their sweet-tartness without dealing with all those skins and they worked perfectly as an addition to the dressing for the couscous.
Last year: Caponata Over Creamy Polenta
Two years ago: Zucchini Soft Tacos
Couscous & Cucumber Salad with Sun Gold Tomato Vinaigrette
For the dressing...
1 TBS. coconut oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 pint sun gold tomatoes
1/4 C. extra virgin olive oil
3 TBS. raspberry vinegar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4. tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 generous tsp. mustard seeds
handful fresh cilantro leaves, minced
For the salad...
1 medium red bell pepper
1 C. dried whole wheat couscous
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. powdered garlic
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/3 C. diced red onion
1. In a skillet heat the coconut oil over medium heat. When hot, add the red pepper flakes and the sun gold tomatoes. Season with salt, cover and cook until the tomatoes burst (about 10 minutes). Use a wooden spoon to smoosh all the tomatoes down and continue to cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid has cooked off and you are left with a thick tomato paste (another 10 minutes or so). Remove from heat.
2. While the tomatoes are cooking, measure out the olive oil into a measuring cup and then whisk in the vinegar, oregano, salt, and cayenne.
3. In a dry heavy-bottomed skillet toast the mustard seeds until they start to pop. Once they do, add them to the oil mixture.
4. Cut the red pepper in half and discard the stem, seeds, and white membrane. Push down each half so that it lays flat on a grill pan. Broil in the oven until the skin is charred black, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and put in a paper bag for 15 min to steam. Once cool, peel off the charred skin and discard. Chop the pepper and put into a large bowl along with the cucumber and onion.
5. Add the tomato paste to the oil mixture. Use a stick blender to blend well and to break up any remaining tomato skins (alternately, transfer to a blender or food processor and blend).
6. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 1 cup of water until boiling. Stir in the couscous, salt, and garlic powder. Immediately cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Then, fluff with a fork and add to the bowl with the vegetables.
7. Add the dressing to the salad and stir to coat evenly.
Servings: 6 side-dish servings
Time: 30 minutes