I have had the My Paris Kitchen cookbook by David Lebovitz for nearly two years now after reviewing it for Blogging for Books. Sadly, after a couple of half-hearted recipe attempts for reviewing purposes, it hasn't gotten much use. The condo's midget kitchen didn't leave much room for cookbooks or extravagant French recipes, and the book got relegated to the bookshelf, wedged in among other lonely friends.
But no more.
The cookbook now lives on the hutch, just behind B's standard seat at the kitchen table. One night, after dinner, he picked it up and started rifling through it. As he read out recipe names, we both realized we wanted to cook a lot of these recipes.
Since you have to begin somewhere, we decided to start with the lemon-pistachio Israeli couscous. The ingredients looked delicious and the preparation was simple. The hardest part was finding preserved lemons. If you plan ahead you can make your own or order them online, but we kind of threw this together last-minute so we bought our preserved lemons at Whole Foods. B called, and apparently they also carry them at the grocery store at Pita House in Greenville.
This recipe is quick, easy, and great for a weeknight. The hardest part for us was getting the couscous cooked correctly (it turned out a little mushy). The rest of it is roughly chopping ingredients and mixing the final product.
We thought this turned out really well. There are so many wonderful flavors in it, you won't get bored eating it. We would maybe back off the cinnamon a little next time and we contemplated adding mint instead of parsley, but otherwise we wouldn't change a thing (except maybe learning how to cook grains properly). The pistachios and lemon were excellent. We served it with lemon-pepper grilled chicken and a grilled artichoke, and it made a satisfying meal.
Hopefully we'll bring you some more recipes from My Paris Kitchen soon, but in the meantime give this one a try.
lemon-pistachio Israeli couscous
1 preserved lemon
1/2 cup (30g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (80g) diced dried fruit (we used )
1/2 cup (65g) unsalted shelled pistachios, chopped very coarsely
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups (225g) Israeli couscous
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut the lemon into quarters.
Scrape the pulp out and press through a strainer, letting the juice fall into a large bowl. Discard pulp.
Finely dice the lemon rind and add to bowl.
Cook the Israeli couscous according to package directions.
Drain couscous, and mix in large bowl with remaining ingredients.
Serve and enjoy!
We actually halved this recipe because we didn't want to be eating couscous for the rest of our lives. However, we still divided it into four portions, each at 197 calories apiece. I'd say if you made the full recipe, it would be 6-8 servings.
Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen cookbook.