Weeknight Cooking

Cook This: Dinner Tonight

January 26, 2012

Inspiration for tonights' dinner: citrus' glittering, sunshine-soaked hues. Blushing ruby pinks, Hermès oranges, and glowing canary yellows are never more welcome than amidst all those dull January greys. Wake everyone up with an oh-so-elegant Blood Orange Salad with Olives. Simply citrus, olives, onion and vinaigrette, Amanda's lovely salad is zero hassle and totally show-stopping. Follow it with Deensiebat's Saffron-Scented Couscous with North African-Spiced Halibut, which manages to be both delicate and hearty all at once. A gorgeous dinner in just under an hour, what more could you ask for? 

The Menu

Blood Orange Salad with Olives by amanda 

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blood orange


Saffron-Scented Couscous with North African-Spiced Halibut by deensiebat 

halibut and couscous

The Grocery List 

2 blood oranges

2 mandarin oranges

18-20 green olives (8-10 for the salad, the rest for the fish)

1 lb halibut

1 fennel bulb

1/2 head cauliflower

2 cups israeli couscous (also called pearl couscous)

1 handful each parsley and cilantro

We're assuming that you are savvy home cooks (we know you are) and already have salt, pepper, olive oil, onions, garlic, lemon, saffron, cayenne, red wine vinegar, paprika, cumin, cardamom, coriander, tumeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves in your pantries. However, if you're out, these recipes are worth stocking up for! Of course, you can always wing it with what you've got lying around -- a little spice-swapping (or even skipping) here and there never hurt anyone. 

The Plan 

1. Okay, before you do anything, get the halibut into its marinade. It needs a 30 minute dip (give or take).

2. Slice your citrus and red onion, pit olives. Arrange. Admire, but hold off on the dressing. 

3. Pop the fish into the oven. While it bakes, tackle the couscous. 

4. Throw it all together! Serve! 

Aside: Who does the dishes tonight and for the forseeable future? Somebody else! Why? Because dinner is served, and it's a knock out. 

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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  • Sagegreen
  • Miranda Rake
    Miranda Rake
Miranda Rake

Written by: Miranda Rake

I love Champagne and cheese and potato chips. In fact, that would be the most dreamtastic dinner. I have two cats and I am a proud Portlander-by-birth currently residing on Manhattan's rich and wonderful Lower East Side in a closet that has no closets. In May I finished up a masters degree in Food Studies at NYU and now I am trying to figure out exactly why I did that and what that all means. It is very fun and scary but mostly fun. I like to cook and I love to bake.


Sagegreen January 29, 2012
Great combination! I served this to company who raved about this. Thanks so much.
Author Comment
Miranda R. January 30, 2012
So glad you and your guests enjoyed it!