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Bring on the Onions!

Hey everyone.  Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost here?  That last month went by so fast.  I'm sure all of you have been starting to put a menu together in your mind by now, but let's talk side dishes.  Onions are a Thanksgiving must and I think this might just be the perfect dish for you:

Pearl Couscous Gratin with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese*

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or butter, plus more for the dish

2 thinly sliced onions

Salt and Pepper

Parsley Pesto (see below for recipe)

1 egg

2 1/2 cups cooked pearl couscous

4 ounches of blue cheese

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans



Grease a 2-quart souffle or gratin dish or an oblong baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350.

Put 2 tablespoons oils or butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot or the butter is melted, add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 20 minutes.

Whisk the cream, blue cheese, pesto, and egg together in a small bowl until blended.  Sprinkle salt and pepper and set aside.   

Spread the cooked couscous in the bottom of the prepared dish. Drizzle the cream and pesto mixture over the couscous.  Evenly distribute the blue cheese in the mixture (small clumps are fine) on top.  Add walnuts or pecans over the top with the remaining blue cheese and evenly distribute.

Bake until the edges and top are browned and bubbling.  30 to 40 minutes, depending on how deep your baking dish is.  Serve immediately or let rest for up to an hour and serve at room temperature.

Parsley Pesto

2 cups parsley leaves rinsed and dried


1/2 clove garlic, or more to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice



Combine the parsley with a pinch of salt, the garlic, and about half the oil in a food processor or blender. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary, and adding the rest of the oil gradually.

Add the vinegar, then a little more oil or water if you prefer a thinner mixture.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve or cover and refrigerate for up to a couple days.

*(c) Mark Bittman from his book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.  But if you like meat, also check out his book How to Cook Everything.



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