This weeks Guest Blogger of the Week is the ever-lovely Heather from girlichef.
If you don’t already follow girlichef, you should. That is, if you love food! Seriously, Heather’s love of food shines through her recipes, her amazing photography and her excellent writing.
I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Heather here this week sharing her Arugula and Lemon Couscous with us. Thanks again Heather!
Do you ever go through a food-phase? Or perhaps it could be better described as a food-obsession? I’ll admit, every now and again I find myself involuntarily latching on to a certain food or ingredient. And not letting go. For quite some time.
I’ve gone through a sweet potato obsession. There was a time when I couldn’t get enough kale. Don’t even get me started on my hunt to find the biggest jar of Nutella possible so that it would last me longer. Um…yeah…that backfired. It didn’t last me any longer. There was that one summer in which I ate a plate loaded with freshly cut mango and pineapple chunks every single day for lunch. I blame that one on pregnancy. Don’t even get me started on those addictive little granules that are couscous. Sure. I know they’re just small little pasta bits. But they are so freakin’ good! They taste different. They roll around on your tongue in this seductive little way that they have. You know. Just to name a few.
My current obsession? That would be baby arugula. I’m not talking about its full-grown sister. I’m talking those dainty, slender, adorable little baby greens. They’ve taken over my everyday life. I mean, if I’m frying up an over-easy egg for breakfast, they want to be bed that cradles that egg. If I’m minding my own business and layering thin slices of meat and cheese onto some toasted bread that’s been slathered with coarse mustard? It’s true. Baby arugula wants to be tucked in the middle of it all. And let me tell you — it loves to be the boss of pizza. As soon as it comes out the oven all hot and melty, it jumps right on top. Without even double-checking to make sure it’s okay. It’s a finagler I tell you.
But I suppose I don’t mind. At least it doesn’t make me stop and stick a spoon in it at every pass (like one of those aforementioned obsessions did). How can I complain about a boost in dietary fiber, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, & K (just to name a few of the benefits of arugula)? I can’t. And I won’t. I’ll just ride this swell while it’s around.
So what do you get when you take a new obsession and combine it with an old obsession and then go and add a bright burst of lemon? And suppose you toast that old obsession, coaxing out this brilliant nutty flavor? I’ll tell you what you wind up with. A dish totally worthy of being obsessed over in its own rite.
- 3⅓ c. rich vegetable stock/broth (or use chicken if veg not a concern)
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled & halved lengthwise
- 2¾ c. couscous
- zest & juice of 1 lemon
- 4 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- 4 oz. baby arugula
- freshly ground black pepper
- Bring broth to a boil in a small pot.
- Heat oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat until garlic just begins to turn golden (don’t let it get dark or the oil will taste bitter). Carefully lift out the garlic halves and discard.
- Add couscous to hot oil and fry until it begins to get golden and toasty all over, stirring constantly, ~3-5 minutes. If couscous doesn’t seem to be getting colored right away, raise the heat a bit.
- CAREFULLY pour in the hot broth (stand back, it may spit & spatter) and give everything a stir. Put a tight lid on the pan. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Using a fork, fluff the couscous. Turn it out into a large serving bowl and add the zest and juice of the lemon, the sliced scallions, and the baby arugula. Toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then toss again. Enjoy as an accompaniment to a meal…or if you’re like me, eat it AS the meal.