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Asparagus and Couscous Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Food + Recipes

Learn how to make this delicious spring inspired asparagus and couscous salad with lemon vinaigrette. Developed by Erin George, chef, registered dietitian and the owner of Cookwell Co. Erin is a food and recipe development business located in the Colorado high country. Continue reading to get the full recipe!

Tips:

  • Be sure not to overcook your couscous or it will become “gummy”. The couscous should still have a bite to it (al dente), just like you look for in other pastas.
  • I often have leftover vinaigrette for this salad. Sometimes I will use it on leftovers, but other times I drizzle it over smoked chicken right before serving.

Ingredients

For The Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ large lemon), plus zest for garnish
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

For The Salad

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup dry Israeli couscous
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 scallion, sliced thin on the diagonal (both green and white portions)
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Asparagus and Couscous Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Step-By-Step Instructions

Place a large sheet tray in a cold oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare the vinaigrette by combining the mustard, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, lemon juice and olive oil in a small jar fitted with a lid. Shake well to combine, then set aside.

Trim the tough ends of the asparagus, then cut into 2-inch pieces on the diagonal. In a medium bowl, toss the asparagus with olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Carefully remove the sheet tray from the oven and add the asparagus. Roast for 7-8 minutes, or until asparagus is vibrant in color and tender, but not limp.

Fill a large pot with water and season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then add the couscous. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook until al dente, 6-8 minutes. Drain and add to a large serving bowl.

Gently stir the parsley, scallions, tarragon and ¼ cup of the vinaigrette in with the couscous, adding more as desired. Add the asparagus on top of the couscous, adding another drizzle of the vinaigrette. Finish with crumbled feta and fresh lemon zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe From: Spring 2023 Issue #10

More Recipes From Erin:

Asparagus and Couscous Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette 1

Asparagus and Couscous Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This Asparagus and Couscous Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette is the perfect side for your next spring meal.

Ingredients

For The Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 clove)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ large lemon), plus zest for garnish
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

For The Salad

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup dry Israeli couscous
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 scallion, sliced thin on the diagonal (both green and white portions)
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

    1. Place a large sheet tray in a cold oven. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
    2. Prepare the vinaigrette by combining the mustard, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, lemon juice and olive oil in a small jar fitted with a lid. Shake well to combine, then set aside.
    3. Trim the tough ends of the asparagus, then cut into 2-inch pieces on the diagonal. In a medium bowl, toss the asparagus with olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and black pepper. Carefully remove the sheet tray from the oven and add the asparagus. Roast for 7-8 minutes, or until asparagus is vibrant in color and tender, but not limp.
    4. Fill a large pot with water and season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, then add the couscous. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook until al dente, 6-8 minutes. Drain and add to a large serving bowl.
    5. Gently stir the parsley, scallions, tarragon and ¼ cup of the vinaigrette in with the couscous, adding more as desired. Add the asparagus on top of the couscous, adding another drizzle of the vinaigrette. Finish with crumbled feta and fresh lemon zest. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

  • Be sure not to overcook your couscous or it will become “gummy”. The couscous should still have a bite to it (al dente), just like you look for in other pastas.
  • I often have leftover vinaigrette for this salad. Sometimes I will use it on leftovers, but other times I drizzle it over smoked chicken right before serving.

Asparagus and Couscous Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette 1

March 13, 2024

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