easy salads + david bowie.

You may have noticed that most of the recipes I’ve posted lately include chocolate or brie as prominent ingredients. This does not bode well for my health or yours. Alas, it’s salad time!

Here are two recent favorites that are the result of laziness, lack of food in my fridge (it was a real desert in there!), and almost no time to cook. Sometimes these constraints lead to creativity in the kitchen… or absolute disasters. (I once made some kind of pasta that resembled airplane food. It was bad, ladies and gents.)

Luckily, these turned out well. The peach + watercress salad was my ultimate favorite, and sadly there’s no picture to attest to its loveliness. I suppose you’ll just have to make it… Hope you all had a lovely weekend! I watched Labyrinth– that creepy ’80s classic with Bowie, and I can’t get the “dance magic dance” song out of my head. Save me! I kept humming it in the aisles of the co-op, and I’m pretty sure I terrified everyone around me. lv, molly

Israeli Couscous with Lemon + Grape Tomatoes

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

Note: this recipe works well with most vegetables. If you have zucchini on hand but no tomatoes, use that! Saute a little before you toss with couscous.

1 1/3 cups dry Israeli couscous (also called Pearl couscous)
1 3/4 cups water
8 oz. mini grape tomatoes, halved
2 large handfuls of baby arugula (about 3 cups)
2 Tbl. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbl. olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
optional garnish: freshly grated pecorino romano cheese

Heat the couscous in a large pot with 1 Tbl. olive oil. Toast the grains for a few minutes, until lightly browned. Then slowly add the water, and bring to a boil. Then lower heat, cover, and cook for 12 minutes– or until all liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, halve the tomatoes and juice the lemon. When couscous is done, add tomatoes, arugula, lemon, 1 Tbl. olive oil, and salt + pepper. The arugula will wilt; don’t worry! It tastes good that way, similarly to spinach.
Serve hot or cold. I’d run a few miles prior to making it, so I ate it straight out of the pot! A hungry lady, I was.

Watercress + Peach Salad

Serves 4 as a side dish

1 large bunch watercress, washed, 1/3 of stems removed
2 ripe peaches
1 Tbl. olive oil
2 Tbl. lemon juice
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
salt + pepper to taste

Wash watercress, and rip into appropriately sized pieces. Pit the peaches, and slice them into 1″ cubes. Combine watercress and peaches in a large bowl, and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with s+p to taste. Toss gently. Serve, and garnish with pistachios. One of the tastiest and most unusual salads. Your guests will be pleased.

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