Thursday, April 30, 2009

Post-Vacation Eats....Fresh Ingredients!

After a long weekend full of delicious (but not so healthy) meals, I'm back in the kitchen cooking up some new recipes. We stopped at the store on the way home from work and wanted a quick meal to eat. When I was checking out the current sale items on the Whole Foods website, I saw a recipe for cous cous salad with sundried tomatoes and salami. It caught my eye and I decided to put it on the menu. I used the recipe as a guideline and put my own twist on the ingredients. For a main dish, we decided on grilled portobello sandwiches. This meal can be made completely vegetarian by omitting the salami in the cous cous salad. It's a gourmet meal that is easily made by anyone!

I grilled an extra mushroom to throw in my salad for lunch the next day. The cous cous salad was even tastier the second day! It would also be a great dish to take to a pot luck.

Grilled Portobello Sandwiches with Goat Cheese
Portobello mushrooms (1 per person)
Bread for the sandwich - tonight I used ciabatta bread
Olive oil
Your favorite herbs and spices (I used dried basil and garlic powder)
Salt and Pepper
Fresh goat cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (1 per sandwich)

Heat your grill to medium heat (or you can also use a grill pan on your stovetop)
Wipe the mushrooms off with a dry towel or paper towel
Brush the mushrooms with olive oil
Season with salt, pepper, and herbs.
Grill 2-3 minutes per side

Warm sliced rolls/bread on the grill for 1-2 minutes
Place 1 mushroom on the roll, top with goat cheese and enjoy!

Cous Cous Salad with Sundried Tomatoes and Salami
1 cup of cous cous, prepared according to the box
Approximately 1/4 lb. of genoa salami slices, cut into quarters
1/8 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
A handful of arugula
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 tablespoons of lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil
A dash of red pepper flakes (one or two shakes from the jar)
Salt and pepper

Prepare the cous cous according to the directions in on the box
Remove from the pot and put into a serving bowl
Let cool to room temperature

Stack salami slices and cut into quarters
Chop parsley roughly
Chop sundried tomatoes into pieces about the size of the cut salami

Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste

Toss in the salami, parsley, sundried tomatoes and arugula with the room temperature cous cous Pour dressing over the salad
Toss to combine

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 5-10 minutes for the cous cous
Pot and lid, cutting board and knife, zester or small grater, measuring cups, tongs for tossing, serving dish, and serving utensils

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