Day 12, here we are at last. I was asked if I could make special categories for things like this, and I thought that sounded like a really good idea. If you look under the Categories tab at the left you’ll see that from now on anything that I do in a series will have its own special tab. Neat huh?

So here we are on Day 12, I really wanted something absolutely fabulous for this day, since it is our last. We have already done some pretty great recipes though so maybe some simple, super fast salads would be best to end with. I know we have all had that moment occur when you are invited to that last minute impromptu gathering and you have no idea what to bring. These salads go together in a flash and taste great.

This comes from the Florida Ag. Dept., hence the reference to florida products 🙂

Couscous Zucchini Salad

1 1/2 cups Chicken stock (remove excess fat)
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup Florida red pepper, chopped fine
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium Florida zucchini or yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 Florida serrano or jalapeño pepper, chopped fine

2 teaspoons Florida garlic, chopped fine

2 tablespoons fresh Florida basil, chopped fine

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1.Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add couscous, red pepper and cover. Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes.

2.Heat a medium sauté pan. Add olive oil and cook zucchini until tender. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for a few more minutes.

3.Mound couscous in center of a large platter. Arrange zucchini slices around. Serve warm or cold.

Simple Couscous Salad

6 ounces couscous

1 red bell pepper, medium dice
1 green bell pepper, medium dice
1 bunch green onions, sliced on the bias
6 ounces cucumbers, peeled, seeded, medium dice
4 ounces black olives, pitted
6 ounces red onion, julienne

DRESSING:
3 ounces orange juice concentrate
2 ounces water
2 ounces rice vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
3 ounces salad oil
1 ounce honey
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

1. Steam the couscous until tender; set aside to cool.
2. Combine the couscous with the vegetables.
3. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients.
4. Combine the salad ingredients with the dressing. Chill thoroughly before serving.

Simple Salad with Orzo and Herbs

yes, you must use fresh herbs in this salad 🙂

1 pound orzo
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces fresh or frozen green peas
4 ounces celery, small dice
12 ounces plum tomatoes, medium dice
1/2 ounce fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 ounce fresh chives, chopped
1/2 ounce fresh parsley, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and white pepper, to taste

1. Cook the orzo in lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Drain in a colander and rise well with cold water. Remove the orzo to a large bowl and drizzle 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of olive oil around the orzo and toss well.
2. Cook the peas in slightly salted boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes, drain, and rinse with cold water. Toss the peas, celery, tomatoes and orzo together.
3. Combine the remaining olive oil with the herbs, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and white pepper. Pour over the salad and toss gently to combine. Serve chilled.

I will be on vacation beginning today the 3rd of July through the 7th and will return on the 8th. I hope you all have a wonderful, safe Independence Day.

Our next series of recipes will be Cordials and Liqueurs you can make at home. Some things to gather in preparation for this are:

  • 1 and 2 quart jars with good sealing lids (we will not be canning, but you’ll want good, tight fitting seals
  • 80 and 100 proof vodka various fruits, vegetable and nuts
  • decorative bottles if plan on gifting any of these
  • and a tiny bit of patience…

Many of the recipes I have you will want to double, triple or make even more than that. They are excellent, easy and fun. I promise that with several, if not all of these, you will no longer buy the actual cordial or liqueur. They make wonderful gifts too. Besides cooking, making our own wines, cordials and meads is my favorite past time.

Something I would love is to have is a visit back to these when our 4 week wait is up so everyone who makes them can share their results. So I ask this question…

Would you rather do this series as sort of a weekly or monthly make along type group or just come back and share when you can? I would just really love to know how you all like these 🙂

Let me know via comments or email and I will decide when I get back based on your replies.
Many thanks!

Just a note to let you all know that the Homemadewine.net site will be going down for some maintenance for a few days. I have the tutorial and the glossary moved here so you’ll have them. But access to the recipes will be down. I apologize for the inconvenience!

Have a great Thursday and do something delicious!

Creatively serving the Greater Binghamton area in the lovely Southern Tier of NY. www.foodwineartdesign.com

Colleen is a private caterer and personal chef, she also hosts the internet’s favorite resource for the home wine maker at www.homemadewine.net. Her blog and websites are viewed by thousands each day who enjoy her simply explained, illustrated and photographed recipes and helpful tips.

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