By now, you probably know that my fellow Daring Baker, Sher, of What Did You Eat, passed away last weekend of a sudden heart attack. There are some wonderfully moving tributes out there to Sher, by people who knew her well, such as Glenna, Kalyn and Mary.
How do you say goodbye to someone you don't really know?
As I mentioned, Sher was a fellow Daring Baker and had been for quite awhile. While I hadn't had much occasion to exchange emails with her, I did regularly exchange comments on our blogs, most especially on Daring Baker Day. Her DB posts always brought a chuckle to me. And her blog was also a great place to go when looking for inspiration for pasta, as she was a regular contributor to Presto Pasta Night, as well as Weekend Herb Blogging.
In tribute to Sher, bloggers around the world have been asked to go visit What do you Eat? and find a recipe of Sher's to make and blog about. What a great way for food bloggers to say, "I'm thinking of you, and you've had an impact on me."
For my choice, I decided to go with this light couscous salad, made last year by Sher for Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging. The combination of flavors sounded like they would go very well together, and though I normally wouldn't make a big couscous salad for my family (my being the only person who would eat it), timing worked out well that I had company whom I could share this refreshing salad with. That's my mother's spoon in the picture, threatening to steal the feta.
The only change I made to this recipe was to substitute cilantro for the basil. I have basil in my garden bed, finally planted last week, but did not wish to raid it just yet, whereas I happened to have a handful of cilantro on hand. I love cilantro and would not have objected to a larger handful going into the salad, which I will do next time I make it. I will be making this again, not just to remember Sher, but also because it was wonderfully flavorful and a great light lunch. I won't hesitate to make this for just myself to eat for lunch over several days.
Yes, it is that good.
Thank you, Sher, for being a small part of my life, in your pictures, in your food. I regret that we could not have known each other better.
Zucchini, Tomato, And Basil Couscous Salad
From Sher, What Did You Eat?
1 cup couscous
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
about 1/2 cup chopped fresh sweet basil (or other herb of your choice)
about 1/2 cup sliced green scallions
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thinly
2 large tomatoes chopped rather fine
1/3 cup chopped yellow or red bell pepper
3/4 or 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Note: You can add vegetables of your choice. Cucumbers are very good too, or olives, and pine nuts
1. Bring water to boil, along with salt and pepper. Add the coucous, stir and cover. Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork before you add it to the salad. You may need to gently fluff it with your fingers.
2. Put the couscous that has been fluffed into a large bowl and add the lemon juice and oil. Add the veggies, basil, and feta cheese. Toss well and serve immediately if you wish. But, it tastes better if it sits for at least an hour. It tastes great served the next day.