Recipe: Israeli couscous, lentils, red wine vinaigrette

Israeli couscous is adorable: when cooked, the pasta transforms into dainty white pearls, smooth, round, and cuddly.  Like regular couscous, it cooks in a jiffy (though it needs a bit of simmering).  I like the Israeli kind better because the couscouses remain plump and chewy, and soak up flavor very well.

When debating what to flavor the couscous with, I recalled this simple lentil salad from David Lebovitz.  I tried it a couple weeks ago and reveled in the combination of red wine vinegar and mustard, which I thought could work equally well with the couscous.  I didn’t have shallots but 1/2 an onion sauteed with the garlic is a fine replacement, and I tossed in a drained can of lentils as well.  What resulted was a satisfying, filling, cheap but not cheap-tasting homemade meal, good for dinner plus a couple meals’ worth of leftovers.  I topped it with baked kale chips and ate it hot off the stove, but I’m thinking this dish would be just as delicious as a salad, at room temp, perhaps for a picnic lunch.  The rain has hit us hard the past couple days, but word is that it will be sunny and 70 degrees this weekend.  Let us hope!

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Recipe after the jump!

Recipe: tuna, scallions, and couscous-stuffed peppers

For a friend’s birthday dinner, I recently made these stuffed peppers, which were paired with an asparagus and mushroom frittata and went well with some red wine. Even though 1) my inattentiveness resulted in the peppers’ overcaramelization in their first trip to the oven and 2) I accidentally left out the capers I had planned to include in the stuffing, I still thought it turned out decent. The scallions provided both an onion-y and grassy edge and the (canned) tuna added some texture and saved it from being a vegetarian-friendly dish, which is always a plus :). Perhaps if all goes as planned next time, the result will be closer to the fabulousness I had originally envisioned.

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