Inland Northwest, High Desert

July, 2004
Regional Report

Recipes

Cucumber Almond Couscous Salad
One of the most prolific summertime vegetables are cucumbers. Once they start producing, it's hard to keep up with the harvest. Here's a recipe that using cucumbers with nuts and couscous for a delicious salad.

Ingredients
2 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups diced cucumbers
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation
Bring the water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and couscous.

Cover and let simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Saute the almonds in the oil until lightly browned, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, scallions, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, pepper and remaining salt. Add the cooked couscous and almonds. Chill and serve.

Serves 6.

Books

Sagebrush Country, A Wildflower Sanctuary
In Sagebrush Country, A Wildflower Sanctuary, by Ronald Taylor (Mountain Press Publishing, 1992; $14) the author breaks up the flowers you'll find in the high desert by family such as the sagebrush family and buttercup family. He provides excellent photographs of each plant. I found myself browsing through the book and saying, "That's what that is!" Taylor also explains where, and in what conditions the plant is likely to be found. For example, I enjoyed the history and descriptive narrative given for each such as the puccoon was used by the Plains Indians for respiratory ailments.

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