Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cooking Fail

So, I joined a CSA this spring and spent a silly amount of time trying to figure out what to do with a bunch of beets a week.

I got all giddy when I picked up a bunch of fresh basil in May.

And I even got good at making stir-fry to use the garlic scapes in my share as well as the huge pile of garlic scapes in my own garden. (I decided I'd better eat them or sell them when I noticed them for sale at $2.50 per quarter pound at a local farmer's market!)

Tasty, I must admit.

But my one downfall is the pot luck. It just kills me every time. If I have a successful delivery of food, it has still taken the life out of me.

This time I brought a dip - it was supposed to be a salad.

Allow me to explain.

I started with a recipe in Saveur magazine. Someone recently brought baked beans from a recipe out of the magazine and they were so good, I decided I'd subscribe to the magazine for one year only so I could get some interesting recipes. This was a successful strategy by most counts.

But, you know, I couldn't find the tabbouleh I needed for the tabbouleh salad I wanted to bring, and since I really needed to use up the mint in my garden, I figured the recipe would be good as a couscous salad, so I forged ahead.

The basic idea of the recipe is 1/3 parts fresh mint to 1 part fresh parsley, finely chopped. Add the same amount of finely chopped chives. To this they add cinnamon, allspice, salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. This is mixed into the cooked tabbouleh. This is very similar to a recipe I've used for couscous in the past, but I didn't have much time this time, and I tried to use the food processor to mince the herbs.

In retrospect, I suspect my problem was that I was trying to use the small food processor, but I'm not sure. In order to get it all to actually process, I ended up throwing in the couscous. If I'd just thrown in the olive oil and wine vinegar (no lemon juice in the house either), it probably would've worked just fine. But I threw in the couscous as well and ended up bringing a rather heavily olive-oil flavored dip.

It wasn't bad, actually. It just wasn't what I was trying for.

I really ought to stick with picking up a batch of brownies at the grocery store. They're always such a hit...

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