Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dressing Up

Grape, Celery and Couscous Salad

DSC_3813The environments where we grew up at were different
So of course we would have our likes and dislikes
Like hating the summer or liking celery, isn’t it like that
What’s more we’re a man and a woman.
Of course our differences would be inevitable
It leads to trying to compromise and whishing for too much

When I use celery in dish, the music starts playing in my head – Smap’s (Japanese singer/actor group) ‘Celery released in May of 1997. Perhaps it’s hard to tell watching the video but, they are still popular today (my favorite is the one with the guitar). If you would like to read the story of how I obtained the most coveted concert ticket click here….maybe not. It’s ok, it’s a very long post and embarrassing, really.. but to me is FAN tastic!_DSC3640

Sometimes I would be very good and have sensible light dinner…the orange dressing is just perfect on this salad…mmmm so good! ……………………..Honey, do we still have  chocolate mousse left in the refrigerator?

Ingredients and Instruction for 4 servings (Print recipe here)

  • 1 cup pearl/Israeli couscousDSC_3809
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1-2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar (I used white balsamic vinegar)DSC_3823
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces halved red seedless grapes  Note: for the molded salad, I cut in quarters._DSC3627 
  • 3 thinly sliced stalks celery plus 1/2 cup celery leaves
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted (optional)
  1. Cook couscous according to package instructions. When done, transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Put orange zest, juice, olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl or jar. Whisk vigorously to combine or put lid on tight to shake jar well. Season  to taste with salt and pepper.Set aside.
  3. To the bowl of couscous, add halved grapes, celery and celery leaves.
  4. Pour dressing and toss well. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Serve chilled. Add pine nuts if you like.DSC_3815 

Fiesta! I hope you had a great Cinco de Mayo. I made all vegetable enchilada …I think it needs something…like chicken? And decidedly more sauce.DSC_3806

Made in Hood River, Oregon, these Juanita corn chips are awesome!DSC_3824

This was not a mistake! It was supposed to be charred (well). Brussels sprouts with pecan nuts for a side dish. Interesting…my husband almost burned the recipe itself in the grill. Brussels sprouts are not his thing.DSC_3784

Chaw and Chatter’s apple ginger juice Feliz día de mayo!DSC_3801

That concluded our vegetarian feast.

Becoming a weekend yeast warrior- My husband – No Knead Bread recipe from Sullivan Street Bakery of New York. Took him over 24 hours to complete. It has a slight sourdough bread flavor.DSC_3746

Whatever the differences, in short, to put it simply I love you – my favorite part of the ‘Celery’ song.


  1. Hi,

    I like the way how you were inspired by Celery and its song. Totally agree that everyone is difference but we all have something to love :D

    Your husband's non-knead bread looks very impressive... Although it takes over 24 hours to complete, it is made with I suppose least effort. I guess time is all you need :D


    1. Thank you Zoe. We loved the taste of the bread and texture...it's keeper for sure. Is it getting little cold in Down Under?

  2. I'm fascinated with your cous cous grapes salad...I must try it one of these days! Must it go with chocolate mousse ;P ? I must first go get chocolate mousse before I can enjoy this salad ;P Hope you enjoy the lovely month of May:)

    1. Thank you so much. Ha ha ha, I know the chocolate mousse sabotaged my low- calorie meal that day.

  3. Looks so unique and delicious!

    1. Thank you! I'm dreaming about the buffet restaurant in Barcelona.

  4. Fabulous food and lovely as well as refined salad! Israeli couscous is so delicious and versatile.



  5. Love that pearl couscous salad! So beautifully plated and delicious!

  6. this looks amazing and love the plating

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you Jalna. I love to make your Mac and Cheese for dinner tonight. That looked awesome!

  8. The couscous salad looks really fresh.

  9. Nothing Japanese, but still looks delicious, you are such a great cook :)! And your husband's bread also looks awesome :)!

    1. Thank you so much. I'm thinking of making mini Totoro bento. Your bentos look great!

  10. Your couscous salad looks elegant and frankly could come out of an expensive restaurant's kitchen. I never bother to arrange dishes so beautifully... even when having guests, so I'm in awe of your skills and patience!
    Your husband's bread sounds like a huge feat. I have never even tried making bread...

    1. Thank you Sissi. I 'm going to borrow the dressing recipe for my salad.

      Ha ha ha. The bread was really good. He is working on sour dough version right now.

  11. what a beautiful israeli couscous salad....
    oh snap, thx to your post i remember purchasing it and it's almost 4 months before the expire date and i think i'm gonna use that!

    1. Thank you very much. Your dishes are amazing!

  12. I love your salad. Couscous in my favorite!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment Katerina. Your carrot cake looks divine!

  13. Oh, how pretty it looks Nipponnin - I love the photo where it's in the centre of the plate surrounded all around by tomato and basil! I bet it's delicious and so fresh tasting too!

    The brussel sprouts look great too - nice idea with the nuts... I'll try it!