Heirloom & Edamame Salad

Heirloom Edamame Salad

If you’ve read my previous post, then you know that I just harvested an array of  multicolored Heirloom tomatoes from the garden. All shapes, colors and sizes: Cherokee Purples, Yellow Valencia, Purple Russian and Oxacan Jewels just to name a few. Since these vibrant beauties are ripe and ready to eat, I’ve decided to add them to as many dishes as possible this week.  Therefore, for today’s post I married the Heirlooms with one of my favorite snacks: edamame. Healthy, easy to make and gorgeous to look at, this is the perfect salad to enjoy during the warm days of summer.


Heirloom Tomato &  Edamame Salad

2 cups edamame, cooked and cooled
Heirloom Tomatoes, chopped (I used 6 small tomatoes)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon olive oil (if you have sesame oil that would be a great substitution)
Green onions, chopped
Sea salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve immediately.

Heirloom Edamame Salad

Enjoy~ Crystal


Pearl Couscous With Dry Fruits, Nuts and a Citrus Vinaigrette

Pearl Couscous

As you know from my previous post, I LOVE couscous. What is couscous exactly? It’s a coarsely ground pasta made from semolina, a type of wheat. Why do I love it?  It’s versatile, healthy (loaded with protein, selenium and potassium)  and it’s quick to prepare.

Today’s recipe is a beautiful fusion of Israeli couscous (pearl couscous), dried fruits, fresh herbs, local  cheese and nuts inspired by friend and Executive Chef, Robin Lehnhoff-McCray.

This easy lunch or light dinner option pairs perfectly with a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a warm afternoon on the patio.  Enjoy and cheers to the warmer days ahead!

  • 4 cups cooked Pearl Couscous
  • ¼ cup dry apricots, chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup dry cranberries
  • ½ bunch fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup Valley Ford Estero Gold cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • ¾ cup citrus vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill for 1 hour then serve.

Serves 5

Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • ½ cup Meyer lemon juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine zest, mustard, juices, sugar and parsley. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (This recipe makes 1 ½ cups of vinaigrette. Save the remaining dressing and toss with fresh greens the next day!)

*Enjoy – Crystal

A Staple In My Pantry: Couscous

imageCouscous is truly a must-have in my pantry at all times. I always have a box or two as backup for a quick meal or a perfect side dish. Not only is it extremely versatile but it’s an easy way to add a grain to your meal without investing a lot of time. Seriously. Grill up some veggies and toss it with some couscous and you have a delicious lunch or dinner. Toss the cooked couscous with some olive oil, lemon and a little bit of salt and pepper and you have an easy side dish that pairs well any poultry, fish or meat.

A simple recipe that I make a few times a month is this quick and easy Couscous Tabbouleh Salad.  Enjoy!

Tabbouleh Salad

  • 1  1/4 cups couscous
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (1 – 1½ lemon should be perfect)
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1/2 diced green pepper
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 4 Tablespoons parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon mint
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

image (3)

What I like to do is boil the water in a saute pan over the stove. Once boiling, I turn off the stove and add the dry couscous, olive oil, lemon juice and stir to combine. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. While the couscous is cooking, prepare the tomatoes, green peppers, onions and herbs. After the 5 minutes are up, fluff the couscous with a fork and add the vegetables, herbs and salt and pepper. Toss lightly and serve warm or refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Fluff salad with fork again and serve.

Makes 5 servings.

Variations: Stuff roasted bell peppers with this salad or wrap it up in a pita! Get creative and share with us your couscous recipe ideas on Twitter! – Cheers, Crystal



Question: What’s a staple food item in YOUR pantry?