Hey friends! I can’t believe the last time I posted was February and we’re halfway through July. In my defense, this year has been crazy for a lot of reasons. In March we traveled almost constantly (remember me talking about True/False?). Then, in April, Jimmy’s mom passed away very suddenly in a car accident. This was an unthinkable tragedy, and while I’ve tried to come here and write about it many times, I just haven’t felt able to. Everything I have to say about it has felt paltry and inadequate in the face of what the family lost. And so, every time I’ve opened the post editor to write something new, I’ve stared at the blinking cursor for half an hour and then closed it without writing a thing. Still: even when it seems impossible, life does go on. Winter thaws out, we course through a shaky spring, and eventually, the weather stabilizes itself into summer. An unusually cool and rainy summer this year, but an undeniably beautiful one, with 70-degree days in the height of July and explosions of plants everywhere we look. Do you remember me talking about the garden last post? When you last saw it, it looked like this:
Well, five months later, it looks like this:
It’s an absolute explosion of veggies out there. We’ve been eating sugar snap peas, turnips, and broccoli for weeks (months, in the case of the peas!); the tomatoes and cucumbers are nearly ready to start picking; our bush and pole beans are chugging along; and I’ve just started pulling beets and carrots, plus picking squash blossoms to fry up. The herbs are towering two feet above their planter, and we have enough salad greens to eat something leafy every day. It’s really exciting, and so satisfying to see the tiny seeds I planted back in February springing up to feed us now. With so much goodness ready to pluck from our own backyard, most of my lunches these days are just pantry staples supporting fresh-picked greens and veggies, and today’s was no exception. In the spirit of dusting off the cobwebs and making a fresh start, here’s a quick summertime lunch that’s incredibly easy, fresh, and flavorful—plus, forgiving to any changes you might want to make.
Israeli Couscous with Herbs and Lemon
serves 1 as a main or 2 as a side
1 cup Israeli couscous (larger and rounder than its more common cousin)
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot or 1/4 cup onion, chopped
2-3 cloves minced garlic
Zest of one lemon
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
about 1 cup herbs, whatever you like (I used a mix of basil, lemon thyme, and rosemary), roughly chopped
1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add Israeli couscous, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
2. In a small skillet, heat olive oil. When oil is hot, add chopped shallot. Cook until translucent and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds to one minute. Remove from heat.
3. When couscous is ready, remove from heat and stir in shallot-garlic mixture. Stir in lemon zest, cheese and herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. For bonus points, garnish with a sprig of fresh herbs and a twist of lemon. Enjoy!
I have more to catch you up on (results from the film fest, garden progress, and house progress!), but I’ll write again soon. The first one back is always the hardest. Thanks for staying tuned.