Dragon Salad

I am 10 days away from my due date. Holla.

I'm pretty much unable to think about anything else. I sleep, I wake, I eat, I walk (except for how my lower bones all feel totally unhinged and like they might fall sideways if I walk too far).

I started my maternity leave last week, which my employers then made permanent (surprise!). I'm trying to ignore that so I don't sssstress out too much before baby.

Meanwhile, as the seconds slowly tick by and the response to my constant internal question of "Are we there yet??" goes unanswered by baby, the following list cheers me up.


Collect stamps

Stomp around like the dancers in STOMP

Read a crime novel

Write a crime novel

Solve crimes

Commit crimes

Commit unsolvable crimes

Solve the unsolvable crime

Sterilize the dishes

Sterilize your husband

Knit useful home accessories (TV cozy, scissor scabbard, soup afghan)


Cook every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blog about the joys and frustrations of each day's experience

Turn your blog into a best-selling book

Turn your best-selling book into an award-winning movie

Attend awards ceremonies in your pregnancy evening gown

Come home and congratulate yourself for achieving success beyond your wildest dreams

Wonder what to do next

Here's to the ten longest days of my life! (And if he doesn't come on time? WHAT THEN DON'T THINK ABOUT IT)

*I most certainly am not clever enough to write this list myself - it's from the book Let's Panic About Babies by Alice Bradley and Eden M. Kennedy. It's wonderful, hilarious, and an excellent gift for any expectant mother (unless they're, you know, profanity sensitive. Which I'm assuming most pregnant women by default are not).

Dragon Salad or Mediterranean Couscous (recipe adapted from my new friend LynnieBee over at The Kitchen is My Canvas)

Isn't this salad pretty? And light and summery? And herbal and lemony sharp and feta cheesy good? Make it make it!

2 pints red grape or cherry tomatoes (or 3 hothouse tomatoes)
three large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup warm water
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 3/4 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth would be fine too)
2 1/4 cups couscous (regular or whole wheat)
1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives
1/3 cup ( about 1 handful) torn or chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup torn or chopped fresh mint (again, about a handful)
1/3 lb (or any decent-sized chunk) Feta Cheese (I actually used goat cheese, and it was good, but I think feta would work better. The goat cheese sort of melted in and got diluted)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Farenheit

Halve tomatoes through stem ends ( from top to bottom, not across the middle) and arrange, cut side up, in one layer in a large, shallow baking pan.

Add garlic to pan and roast in the middle of the oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around the edges, about 1 hour. Cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes, or until no longer hot.

While tomatoes are roasting, bring the broth to a boil in a 3 qt. saucepan. Stir in couscous, let simmer in pan for about two minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat, let stand for 5-10 minutes (or, if you're using boxed couscous, just follow the cooking directions on the package).

When couscous has cooled, run your (clean!) hands through it to break up any clumps.

When garlic is cool enough to handle, peel it the garlic and using a small knife chop the garlic very finely. Mix the garlic with the olive oil, warm water and the juice of one lemon in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup and whisk until combined. It's best to get this as well mixed as possible, for which I broke out my Mexican molcajete grinding bowl. But a blender or food processor would work just as well.

Transfer couscous into large bowl and stir in dressing, tomatoes, olives and fresh herbs. Crumble the feta cheese over the salad. Toss to combine with clean hands or large spoon. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Right before serving, Squeeze the juice of the second lemon over the salad a give it one last toss to incorporate.

Dragon Salad - Couscous Summer Salad


Em said...

my mother and i just looked at almost all of your recipes. we were drooling wishing you lived closer (and i was happy to show my mom since she lives so close and said she needed to try a number of your recipes!) Well...you are talented and beautiful and I can't believe you are going to be a mother. CONGRATULATIONS! You are soooo close! YAY!!!! love you!

Mumsfilibaba said...

wow, I love couscous. Have to try your version. It is perfect in summer. Thanks.

Cakebrain said...

Yummo! And gluten free too! So healthy and tasty looking!

LynnieBee said...

Yay!!! I'm so glad to see that you tried this and that it worked out for you!!!

Kris Ngoei said...

10 (or less??) exciting days!!! We are waiting for the baby :-)

Love the couscous.... looks simply delicious, I am glad there are many couscous lovers out there just like myself

Spicie Foodie said...

Congratulations on your upcoming joy! Can't wait to see the first photo of your new baby. What a cute post and delicious recipe. So excited for you :)

a. maren said...

thanks folks! that's TWO gluten free recipes i've got up here now! yay! oh and em so nice to see you here! i miss you, and i totally remember your sweet mother! thanks for the kind words :)

Chef Dennis said...

I just don't use cous cous enough, this salad is certainly a good way to remedy that! It looks delicious!

LynnieBee said...

Now that you mention it, I DO want a cupcake!!!

Heidi's Copper Kettle said...

Mmmmm looks fabulous!!!

Congrats on the upcoming baby! But, seriously, who was your employer? That's just a craptastic thing to do.

Joanne said...

LOL you are too funny! Good luck with the labor! You must be so excited you're so close!