Sunday, May 31, 2009

Couscous Salad | Cookout . 1

Couscous salad is the perfect summer meal for the times when tomatoes are really ripe, cucumbers abundant, mint rampant and the weather hot. It’s swift and simple, an entire satisfying meal in itself.

2 cups couscous
2 cups tomato juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon garlic (3 large cloves), minced and mashed
1/3 cup (8 medium) scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced
1- 6 ounce jar Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
3 teaspoons capers, rinsed, drained, minced and mashed
1-1/2 cups (3 large stalks) celery, thinnly sliced
2 cups (3 medium) tomatoes, halved and finely sliced
1 tablespoon sugar (if tomatoes are out of season)
1-1/2 cups (1 large) red pepper, roasted, thinnly sliced
1 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut in 1-inch lengths, steamed
1- 15 ounce can cooked garbanzo beans
2 teaspoons dried basil, rubbed
1-1/2 cups cilantro (1 large bunch), stemmed and chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
black pepper to taste, freshly ground
1 head lettuce, washed dried and shredded

1. Bring the tomato juice to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour over the couscous in a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Add the oil. Stir, cover and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, until the couscous is swollen and tender.
2. Ix in all the other ingredients in the order listed. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours, or better yet overnight.
3. Serve over a bed of shredded lettuce.
Housetops by Edward Hopper.

May 31

Planned Sunday work and dinner. Jupiter rising big, bright and slightly rusty colored through the treetops to the southeast.

Constant Comment ... Deleted past Roofscape News. Added our new email. Dropped image hosting and archives (we do both better, for free).

Picasa ... Deleted all old albums. Created new album for Roofscape News and uploaded images for RSN #7.

Sunday is cooking day when we develop and test recipes. Today will be couscous salad, in an untraditional take on the dish using asparagus instead of cucumbers with cilantro, lemon thyme, mint and preserved lemons. One of our main tasks is always to correctly quantify the ingredients. That won't be hard, couscous is very flexible and forgiving.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30

The launch, or rather relaunch, of Roofscape Magazine is the day after tomorrow, Monday, June 1, 2009. Naturally, we're flat out, but took time to both renew our Garden Journal and do a little gardening.

Our office on the third floor now has a permanent herb garden in the wall of windows facing to the southeast. We're testing techniques for cultivating fresh cooking herbs indoors year around.

The current lineup on the window sill is ... basil, chervil, 3-cilantro,
dill, spinach and 3-summer savory. We added 3 of those today from pots hardening off on the porch that were heading to the garden, then groomed and watered the expanding collection. Thinned the cucumbers growing in a planter out on the fire escape to 2 per 6" pot.

Freddie planted the peppers I started for her in April from seeds her mother sent from Germany. Planted ours in the Fenway garden in mid-May.

Charles and I looked over several home garden projects ... fence for the front yard, raised water barrel bases and a marble garden tabletop.

Friday, May 22, 2009

May 22

Weather ... 80° by mid-morning. Sun, no clouds.

Garden ... Finished renovating Roofscape's outside office in our Fenway garden. Everything is now in place to work here on the magazine. If the weather holds. Otherwise, we'll do it back in the Dot.

Friends ... Caught up with Jerry Cooper watering his garden under the willows along the Boylston Street path. Other neighbors spotted and/or spoken ... Richard Barry, Phyllis Hanes, Ron Dion, Joe Axelrod.