Well, sort of. I have been so freaking busy with work it’s ridiculous. I started a lead role (hooray!) at work, but I have been so busy (phew :-[) but I love it (hooray!). REB has been busy with work too being the big shot network admin guy on campus and that has meant we've either come home from work super late, or we've had other things going on after work.
I hate having off weeks with the hubs. We try to do a date night once a week, but it doesn't always happen. Truth be told, one of my favorite things is being able to just sit and have a meal with him. At least we still work out together at night! Hooray weights! Hooray cardio! Hooray hooray!
Anyway most of our dinners have been quick things like veggie burgers on salad, savory stuffed sweet potatoes (one guess who those were for :)), or fending for ourselves in general. Awful. I should be a good Indian wife and have dinner on the table for my man every night! [pause for jokes]. OK I take that back. I did make baked samosas a few nights ago. But really, my sister made the filling and had brought me the extras. I merely put it into poked puff pastry and baked it off. HEY. That took time! And they were tasty.
Where was I? Oh yeah. We’ve been so busy that I was determined to cook my man (and me!) a meal that would be satisfying and not too heavy.
Enter sunshine and summer in a bowl.
Or in layman’s terms: Caprese Israeli couscous with heirloom tomatoes.
It’s seriously the one thing I needed after these past few weeks! And let’s not forget how depressing the weather has been. If it isn’t 90 or 100 degrees outside, it’s storming. I decided to change all that today. It was the first night we both got home at a reasonable time, I had enough time to replenish our fridge and pantry thanks to Trader Joes, and I even had enough time to be one of those people who buys flowers at the store “just because.”
I also managed to pick up those little beauties you see in the bottom right. Just call me super woman. I told REB I wanted to make something fresh and light for dinner and that’s exactly what I did. Nothing screams fresh to me more than heirloom tomatoes, a light vinaigrette and a grain I haven’t had in ages.
I expressed interest in making couscous, but also wanted caprese. BOOM. This was born.
What we ended up with was a caprese couscous with a deconstructed pesto….lemon…dressing…thing. It was good. And you should make it. Because I said so.
Did I mention I started a lead role and I’m now more assertive than ever?
No? Oh Ok. I started lead role at work! Hooray!
- 1⅓ cups Dry Israeli (pearled) couscous
- 1¾ cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup mini heirloom tomatoes, halved, quartered, whatever
- 4 ounces (1/2 container) bocconcini (baby) mozzarella, halved
- 10 whole basil leaves, chiffonade
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 whole lemon, juiced
- Start by bringing the water to a boil.
- In a separate pot or sauce pan add the couscous and olive oil and cook over medium heat until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally.
- When the water is boiling, slowly add it to the couscous.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer for 12 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed.
- While the couscous is simmering away, wash the tomatoes and cut them in half. The small ones you can leave whole. Set aside. Do the same with the mozzarella. Stack the basil, roll tightly and slice thinly to create ribbons.
- In a small dry pan, add the pine nuts and cook over low heat until toasted. Remove from heat. Keep your eye on them so they don’t burn!
- Once the couscous is cooked, transfer to a bowl. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and toss lightly. The heat from the couscous should melt the mozzarella a little.
- For the dressing, combine balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over couscous, add the tablespoon of olive oil, give it one good toss. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top and enjoy!
The best thing is having leftover to take to work tomorrow. I think once I get into the groove of things, I’ll be back to my old self. At least I have the weekend to look forward to. I hope to have some culinary adventures! Stay tuned :)
Do you ever get into cooking slumps and do “fend-for-yourself” nights?