Cucumber

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I never understood the beauty of a cucumber until I spent two weeks traveling through the tropical climes of the Costa Rican rainforest. We hiked for six to seven hours each day. Only five if we were very lucky and the rain cooperated. IMG_3281.JPG

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We lived for a single ray of sunshine.

IMG_3330.JPGMy sister and I shared the physical and emotional weight of the experience together, covered in mud, soaked by a steady rain, and at times carrying up to five liters of water in our packs in the more isolated areas. We spent much of the time bearing the emotional burden in a communal silence of mutual understanding. Continue reading

Tahini

Today I battled the Boqueria, our most famous market, and came home with literal armfuls of herbs. Mint, dill, basil, parsley. More than I know what to do with. I also came home so hungry I could barely unpack my groceries. I made this salad in about 10 minutes flat. I call it my emergency salad.

Couscous Salad

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Serves 2

For the salad

  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup pecans, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 bunch mint, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup water

Add the olive oil to a small pot and heat over medium. Add the couscous and stir until coated. Heat until the couscous on the bottom is toasted. Add 1 cup water, turn off the heat and cover. Let sit 3 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

Put the couscous in a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, including the dressing, and mix well.

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lemon
  • black pepper, optional

Whisk together the oil, vinegar, cumin and salt. Add the juice of the lemon. Whisk again. Add the zest of the lemon at the end. Add more salt to taste, if needed, and a few turns of the pepper grinder.