Salads, Vegetarian
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Spring Couscous Salad with Asparagus and Artichokes

Spring Couscous Salad‏ with Asparagus and Artichokes

You may have noticed by now that I am a huge salad fan. I eat them every day — not only is this insanely healthy but it also inspires me to come up with new and delicious salads ideas, which by the way, if you are looking for the perfect spring salad, then you are in luck. This delicious bowl of goodness is seriously tasty. It’s packed with bright green and crisp tender asparagus, tangy sliced marinated artichoke hearts, sweet cherry tomatoes and spring green onions, all tossed together with light, fluffy couscous, then infused in fresh basil and lemon flavors.

Spring Couscous Salad‏ with Asparagus and Artichokes

This is the kind of salad, you can enjoy as a light and healthy meal or bring along as a vibrant Mediterranean-style side salad to your next picnic or barbecue. It has a fantastic array of bright flavors and is perfectly light, but thanks to couscous, it still has enough substance to it to qualify it as a stand-alone meal.

It’s also a great make ahead recipe that doubles as perfect leftovers for a light meal the next day (or better yet, a healthy and delicious packed lunch). So good!

Spring Couscous Salad‏ with Asparagus and Artichokes

Spring Couscous Salad‏ with Asparagus and Artichokes

Serves 8 – this recipe makes a large salad, however the recipe can easily be cut in half.

INGREDIENTS:
For the salad:
1 cup couscous (200 g)
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, blanched and sliced diagonally (500 g)
6 artichoke hearts, (preferably fresh from a delicatessen, alternatively, marinated artichokes from a glass), quartered drained and coarsely chopped (about 250 g)
4 green onions, chopped (including green parts)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
15 (or more) cherry tomatoes, halved
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
freshly grated parmesan cheese, as garnish

For the dressing:
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 3 lemons (about 9 tablespoons)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

METHOD:
1. Prepare the couscous according to package instructions. Cover and let stand for about 10-15 minutes. Once the water is absorbed, fluff with a fork.

2. Meanwhile, snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Blanch the asparagus in plenty of boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender (depending on thickness). Remove with tongs, or drain in a colander, and immediately transfer to icy cold water to cool. Remove from the cold water and drain well.

Alternatively, (I prefer this method) steam the asparagus using metal basket or steamer. To do so, place a steamer basket in a saucepan. Add water to just below the bottom of the basket. Bring water to a boil, add asparagus, cover and reduce heat. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Transfer to icy cold water to cool, then drain well.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

4. in a large serving bowl, gently toss together the couscous, asparagus, artichokes, green onions, basil, parsley and tomatoes.

5. Pour the dressing over the couscous salad and toss again until combined. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with grated parmesan and serve. Enjoy!

Note: This salad can be made in advance and will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

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Spring Couscous Salad‏ with Asparagus and Artichokes

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