THE CORVALLIS CARROT
with cucumbers and tomatoes
1 c couscous
2 c water
1/4 c grapeseed oil
1 heirloom tomato
1 cucumber (I used English)
1 T (heaping) "fines herbes"
1/4 t sea salt
7 cracks of pepper
Couscous, the dish so nice they named it twice. I love couscous, especially in the summer. This time of year I'm drowning in cucumbers and tomatoes, and this is one of my favorite ways to use them both. You can use quinoa in replacement of the couscous if you're avoiding gluten. I just love the couscous because it absorbs the juices of the cucumbers and tomatoes so nicely.
Gather together your ingredients. What I love most about this dish is the fact that it takes 15 minutes to make. So simple and fast, perfect for a summer day. The last thing you want to do in these hot days is be in a hot kitchen.
Put water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add herbs and couscous. Turn off heat and let the couscous set your timer for 5 minutes. That's all it takes! How simple is that?
Cover up the couscous and set aside while it cooks.
While your couscous is cooking you can prep the cucumber and tomato. You can leave the skin on the cucumber if you want a little more color in the salad. English cucumbers have a thinner skin and I normally don't peel them. My daughter wanted to play with the "snakes" while I cooking, so that's why I peeled it.
Slice and dice the cucumbers. I like to do a smaller dice because it gets incorporated into the dish a little better than big chunks. Whatever size you decide on though, you should keep the tomatoes roughly the same size.
For dicing tomatoes, especially heirlooms, it's imperative to have a sharp knife. You don't want to damage the tomato while cutting. Sharp chef's knife, or serated will work. Place the tomato stem down on the cutting board and cut a criss cross pattern. Then slice horizontally to get diced tomatoes.
Couscous after 5 minutes.
Give it a quick toss with a rubber spatula or wodden spoon.
(different color because of the lighting on my counter vs on my stove)
Toss cucumbers and tomatoes with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and let them sit while couscous cools. The lemon and salt will start to pull juices from the tomatoes and cucumbers and will mix with the oil making a really nice vineagrette.
When the couscous is cool, add it to the cucumbers and tomatoes. The longer you let it sit, the more juice will be absorbed into the couscous giving it more flavor.
That's it. Easy right? What are you waiting for, go get some couscous and make it up. I wasn't even a fan of cucumbers before I started making this, now I love them. Enjoy.