Thursday, March 17, 2011

Israeli Cous Cous Salad with Tofu, Almonds & Dates, Fennel Artichoke Pastries

I had NO idea what to eat for dinner but somehow I was at the store ready to buy something. My mind went blank and I just started grabbing stuff. I figured I would just come up with something when I got home. Wouldn't you know a really delicious, hearty salad came out of it? I will definitely make this one again. Keep the arugula separate and the flavors will get better and better everyday it sits. Just add some greens and toss when you are ready to eat.

Crispy pastries filled with caramelized fennel, sweet onions, creamy white beans, garlic and fresh thyme served over a salad of roasted tofu, Israeli cous cous, dates, almonds and spicy arugula.

Fennel Artichoke Pastries
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 fennel head, thinly sliced
1 white onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
2 tbl white wine
1/2 cup artichoke hearts in oil, drained
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
1-15oz can great northern beans
2 vegan puff pastry sheets, thawed and rolled out thinly

Preheat the oven to 375.
Heat oil in a large pan and saute the fennel and onion until soft and caramelized over medium-high heat, 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and deglaze the pan with white wine. Add the artichoke hearts, garlic and thyme and saute until the garlic is fragrant, 3 minutes. Add the beans and cook until just warmed through.
Divide each puff sheet in 2 horizontally. Put the filling in 1/3 of one side and fold over into a rectangle, getting 4 pastries total. Use a fork to seal the edges and pierce a couple holes in the top for steam to escape from. Brush the tops with water. Bake on a sheet for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Israeli Cous Cous, Almond & Roasted Tofu Salad
16 oz extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, 1/2" cubes
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 tbl maple syrup
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried mustard
1/4 tsp dried fennel seeds
salt and pepper
1 cup israeli cous cous
1/2 cup neglet dates. sliced thinly
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, whole
1/2 cup toasted, roughly chopped almonds
2 cups baby arugula
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tbl red wine vinegar
zest & juice of half orange

Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil. Toss the tofu cubes in oil, maple, red pepper flakes, rosemary, dry mustard, fennel seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in a single layer for 15 minutes. Toss, reduce the heat to 375 and roast 30 minutes more, tossing once in between.
While the tofu is roasting make the cous cous.
Bring 1 cup of cous cous, a pinch of salt and 2 cups of water to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until tender. Set aside.
When the tofu is done, toss it with the cous cous, dates, scallions, tomatoes, almonds and arugula. Add the oil, vinegar and orange zest and juice and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

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