Artichoke Tapenade on Homemade Bread, Herbed Couscous Salad

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In the past two weeks I have been experimenting with the infamous No-Knead-Bread. I’ve found that a ratio of 3/4 bread flour and 1/4 whole wheat flour works best for me, tastewise. The recipe is pretty simple and the outcome reliable. I took it to game night with the neighbors last night and everyone loved it. I can definitely see it becoming a staple in our house. Once you start baking your own bread (at least where we live), there’s no going back to grocery store toast and limp baguettes … Last night I served the bread with a store-bought olive tapenade (acquired while panicky last-minute shopping for the snow storm), then felt challenged to make my own. I decided to go with a artichoke tapenade, which paired amazingly with the bread and a glas of Portuguese red (our current house wine). We had it for dinner with a herbed couscous salad from my personal recipe hero Ottolenghi (how can all recipes in one cookbook be so delicious?!). Enjoy!

For the artichoke tapenade:

In a food processor, combine 2 minced garlic gloves, 1 cup of pitted green olives, 1 tbsp capers, a small can of artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 6 tbsp olive oil. Pulse until almost smooth but still chunky. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice (optional).

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For the herbed couscous salad:

Put 120g couscous into a large bowl, add 160ml boiling vegetable broth. Cover with cling wrap and let sit for ten minutes. Meanwhile, cut 1 small onion into thin slices and fry in 1tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat until golden brown and soft. Cut three scallions into thin rings, coarsely chop a handful of pistachios. Chop a handful of flat parsley leaves, a handful of cilantro greens, the leaves of 3 mint sprigs and 5 dill sprigs, then puree in food processor with 90ml olive oil until smooth. With a fork, work herb paste into couscous, then add onion slices, pistachios, green onions and a generous handful of arugula. Season to taste.

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