Meet two of my loves: one old, one new. My sister, Talia, and my new secret ingredient, smoked paprika.
I enjoyed both last night as T came over to cook and blog with me. Who is she exactly? Well, she is my (much) younger sister who also shares a deep love of cooking and writing. Isn’t she a doll? She wants to go into journalism and currently has an internship at a very cool magazine in the north shore area of Chicago called Make It Better. She has featured a yummy summer recipe at the magazine from A Life From Scratch, found here! You might see her a bit more around my kitchen as well as her own as I’ve asked her to incorporate some of her amazing writing and cooking here at A Life.
Back to last night. We decided to make a very delicious recipe my talented mom discovered last week from Giada. We adapted it a bit here and there but stuck with the basics. I believe the winning ingredient in this recipe is the smoked paprika. I have never cooked with it before but now that I have I wonder why more recipes don’t feature this amazing flavor. It turns dull into ‘what is that’ almost instantly. If you don’t have it stocked in your kitchen, grab some next time you’re out.
We also had a special sous chef, L, who piped up from the couch that he wanted to help cook. He quickly labeled the spinach as the ‘hairy green stuff’ and enjoyed learning to toss the salad together gently as to not crush the tender heirloom tomatoes and feta cheese, two other stand out ingredients.
If you’re looking for a great lunch for the girls or a perfect side to sit along some grilled meat, you can’t lose with this one.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 TBS white vinegar
- 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 & 1/3 cups Israeli cous cous, cooked
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups spinach, chopped
- 12 ounces cherry or mini heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup feta, crumbled
- 1 cup jarred red peppers (we used fire roasted for a bit of kick)
- 1/2 cup nuts, sliced (we used smoked and salted pecans)
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped mint
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
- Heat the TBS olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Saute the cous cous for 4-5 minutes, until golden. Add in 2 cups of water and the salt, bring to a boil, then simmer and cover. Cook for 9 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients. Add in the (cooled) cous cous and your dressing. Toss, gently, together.
- This can be served immediately or chilled in the fridge a bit. I personally like it cold.
C and T recommend, highly!