KITCHEN NOTES: twenty one (israeli couscous with mixed greens, dried cranberries, and goat cheese)

this is the twenty first installment of kitchen notes. post-it wisdom from my kitchen. a way to remind myself of the important things.

remember how i told you that my student staff wanted to do a secret snowflake (secret santa) type exchange for valentine’s day? well, they totally forgot about it, had mixed feelings about it when i brought it up again, and couldn’t decide whether or not to do it.

the people who were hesitant just don’t like valentine’s day at all. too commercialized, too couples-oriented, they said. they also mentioned it was too close to our secret snowflake exchange that it didn’t feel special.

i told them that valentine’s day isn’t just about couples. yes, it’s commercialized and way too pink and red, but it’s a day for us to give love to everyone–our families, our friends, and people who are important to us. i believe we should give love everyday, but i don’t see why we should bash on the holiday when we can redefine it for ourselves.

so after 15 minutes of weighing options, we officially decided to do it.
secret valentines, here we go!

i haven’t done much with israeli couscous, so i decided to give this grain some love. after looking at what was in the fridge and brainstorming with m, we came up with this beautiful salad.

this salad makes a great lunch. you can do it the night before. scoop into tupperware, top with cheese, pop on the lid, and call it love.

israeli couscous with mixed greens, dried cranberries, and goat cheese
printable recipe – yield 4-5 servings

2 cups israeli couscous
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
two large handfuls of mixed greens
1 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled (or as much as your heart’s content)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

for vinaigrette
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

heat olive oil to medium saucepan over medium high heat. add couscous and toast for about one minute, until it smells nutty and turns slightly golden brown. add vegetable stock and water. bring to boil. simmer until liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. transfer couscous to a large bowl to cool.

as it cools, make vinaigrette by combining all ingredients and whisking well. put aside.

if the couscous has stuck together, fluff with a fork. when couscous is cool, toss in mixed greens and dried cranberries. season well. add vinaigrette and mix until evenly coated. top with goat cheese before serving. enjoy.


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