Spring Herbs Couscous

Serves 4 as a side dish.

In a casserole dish, pour 1 cup dry couscous. Add 2-3 fresh basil leaves chiffonnade. Add fresh cut sliced garlic chives, oregano, thyme to taste. Add dry cracked red pepper flakes. Add your other favorite fresh garden herbs to taste.

In a medium skillet, sauté sliced scallions and a mound of fresh kale in a little olive oil. Heat until kale is wilted. Add to couscous dish.

Boil 1 cup chicken broth in a small saucepan with a pat of butter. Pour over couscous and herb kale mix in dish. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

Fluff with a fork and enjoy with a glass of Sancerre.

Cauliflower Curry

In a stockpot, brown one chopped onion in olive oil. Add florets of one head of cauliflower and brown. Add 1 or 2 sliced hot peppers and 1 sliced bell pepper. Orange or yellow are best. Brown and stir. Add 1 can whole tomatoes.

Season with 1 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. ginger, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. cloves, 1 tsp. cayenne. Adjust with salt & pepper to taste. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour or until cauliflower is tender but not mushy. Add a handful of frozen peas.

Serve over rice with hot mango chutney.

Veggie Chili

Serves 6-8.

In a large stock pot, brown these chopped veggies in olive oil- 1 small red onion, 2 zucchinis, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, 2-3 jalapeño peppers. Add 3 small cans each -black beans, kidney beans, white beans. Stir.

Add 1 large can whole tomatoes. Or 4 chopped natives. Stir. Add 1 pint hot salsa, chunky with corn is best. Season with 2-4 tsps. cumin, 1-2+ tsps. cayenne to taste. Stir. Bring to boil, stir. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Uncover and simmer until thickens.

Merry’s Mum’s fave.

Nutty Rice

Supper side. Bazmati rice with pine nuts, basil, yellow cherry tomatoes.

Toast a handful of pine nuts in a fry pan until golden brown. Set aside.

In a saucepan sauté 1 cup rice in olive oil over high heat. Add 8 halved yellow cherry tomatoes, a handful of chopped fresh basil, and the pine nuts. Add 2 cups chicken broth. Cover and boil. Turn down to simmer for 20 minutes.

Fluff and serve.