Inland Northwest, High Desert
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.
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
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.
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.