Is it really the middle of July? Is summer close to an end?
Did you grow up thinking that summer ended when you went back to school? I sure did, but years ago, after having my first full time job and getting married, I stopped thinking that way. Summer lasted as long as I wanted it to. Time never really mattered. And- that didn’t really even change after we had our girls. UGH-- But that stopped last summer when my oldest gal started school. Let me make sure you are aware that school starts in the middle of August for us around here. It's not fair!
There is something special about summer. Something makes it feel okay to let my girls goof around a little more than normal. To know that you can drop everything and pull on swimsuits and hit the pool. It’s that refreshing, laid back kind of feeling. What kind of feelings does summer bring for you? Do you have a feeling of sadness that starts to creep around this time of year?
The flip side to all of the dread of summer ending is that this is the prime time for gardens. I love walking outside every evening to check my garden and harvest the goods! From cucumbers to tomatoes, ripening watermelons to beets ready to pop out of the ground. These are the sites that make me thankful for this time of year! To show my gratitude and not vent anymore like I did above, here’s one way I discovered to enjoy it all. A perfect fresh salad for a hot summer day!
Cilantro Pesto Pearled Couscous Salad
2 cups cilantro, washed and stems removed
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
In a food processor add cilantro and lime juice. Process for a couple of seconds and then add olive oil and seasonings. Continue to process until all ingredients are pureed.
1 1/4 cups pearled couscous
1 3/4 cups water
1 tsp olive oil
Add water and oil to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in couscous and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes uncovered. Cover pan and remove from heat. Fluff with fork and let stand for another 10 minutes. Once finished pour into large mixing bowl and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
1 cup black beans, if using canned- make sure to rinse
1/2 cup red onion, minced
2 tsp jalapeno, minced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 cup smoked cheddar cheese, diced
3 cups spinach- serve the couscous mixture on top
Once couscous is cooled toss in pesto and gently blend together. Add cilantro pesto and carefully toss to spread the flavor around the dish. Toss in onion, tomato and cheese. Prepare plate with about a cup of spinach and add couscous salad on top.