Like Mother Nature, our lunch this week is caught between two seasons. I was inspired to whip up a healthy lunch salad for the week by some fresh asparagus I picked up at Target, and I decided to mix it with one of my favorite wintry veggies, Brussels sprouts.
I started with a bag of whole wheat Israeli couscous from Bob’s Red Mill. I may be a whole grains loving nerd, but I can browse the Bob’s section at Market Basket for a really long time. I am so intrigued by how many different options there are. Melissa mentioned in a comment that Bob’s products are cheap at Ocean State Job Lot; I need to empty out the trunk of the car and head over there!
While I was boiling up some water to cook my couscous, I chopped my fresh asparagus and started thawing my Brussels sprouts.
I also got the oven heated to 425 in order to roast a small head of garlic. I went to a class at Whole Foods River Street last week with Chef Chad Sarno, and he showed us how to roast garlic in vegetable stock. I didn’t have any on hand, so I just filled this little ramekin about 1/4 of the way with water, chopped the top of the garlic off, and popped it in. It worked out really well and didn’t require oil.
Chef Sarno also showed us how to caramelize onions using a really hot pan, then deglazing it with liquid. I have tried this twice in the past week, and I have made the best caramelized onions I have ever made. Again, you avoid using unnecessary oil here but still get a great result. I am all for oil and other fats, but it’s nice to be able to cut back when you can.
While all of that was going on, I was stealing bites of asparagus. I can’t get enough!
When the couscous was cooked, I stirred the asparagus in, letting the heat of the couscous do its thing. I tossed the Brussels sprouts in with the onions and let them cook.
And then it was time to make the “sauce” for the salad. This might be a really weird idea, but it was delicious. I pureed the Brussels sprouts, roasted garlic, and caramelized onions with some salt, pepper, olive oil, truffle oil, and nutritional yeast, then tossed the couscous in it until coated.
This was definitely an interesting dish, and one I would make again. Pureeing the sprouts gave the salad a ton of flavor and nutrition without making it seem overwhelmingly filled with vegetables. It was a good way to use them up!
And it was very nice to have lunch all set for both of us for the next three days!
In other news, you may remember a call for recipes I posted awhile back. Well, the book is now available online:
You can find out more about Where Hash Rules and buy a copy by clicking on the link below.
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/144495 or visiting the Amazon page:
Here’s a little bit of information about the book.
Where Hash Rules is the story of Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe, a cultural landmark in Boston since 1927, with tales and photographs about the many interesting characters who have enjoyed turkey hash and eggs through the years. Named an “American Classic” by the James Beard Foundation in 2005, the diner has evolved to be as much a part of local folklore as the tea party.
Have a great day, everyone!