Asparagus Salad with Israeli Cous cous, roasted asparagus, kalamata olives, pine nuts, feta, lemon zest and mint with a lemony dressing. A healthy delicious spring-inspired salad!
A Tip! When trimming asparagus, hold a piece in your hand and break off the bottom end with your fingers. Where ever this naturally breaks, is how much you want to trim off the rest of the asparagus. Sometimes this can be painful, because it can be 2 to 3 inches of stem that doesn’t get used, but those ends will most likely be very woody and chewy.
Roasting asparagus is one of the easiest, tastiest ways to prepare it, second to grilling. Toss the spears with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest and place in a hot oven for 15-30 minutes (depending on how thick the spears are) and when they come out, they will be tender, vibrant, slightly crisp and delicious. Sometimes I’ll drizzle in a little balsamic vinegar as well.
Spring Asparagus Salad with Israeli Cous Cous, kalamata olives, feta, lemon zest and mint! Gluten – free adaptable!
- 1– 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups dry Israeli Cous Cous (uncooked) or use orzo, quinoa, freekah, or regular cous cous ( about 4 cups cooked)
- ½ Cup kalamata olives ( pitted, sliced)
- ½ Cup feta cheese ( optional)
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts (optional, sub slivered almonds)
- ½ cup dill or Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tarragon (optional)
- 3 scallions, sliced at a diagonal
- Zest from one lemon (divided)
- 425 F oven.
- Trim the tough ends of the asparagus off. Lay them on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1-2 T olive oil, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and cracked pepper, and half of the lemon zest. Roast in the oven until just tender, about 20-25 minutes. Cut into bite size pieces. (Alternatively, for faster preparation, blanch bite size pieces of asparagus, with the cous cous water, during the last 2-3 minutes of the cous cous’s cooking time.)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add Israeli Cous Cous, and cook until al dente.
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together.
- Drain couscous, and place in a large bowl. Toss it with the dressing, olives, asparagus, feta, pine nuts, fresh herbs , scallions and remaining lemon zest.
- Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your liking.
- Serve warm, or chill and serve as a salad.
- If serving chilled, taste the salad once more before serving and adjust salt, lemon and olive oil one more time as the cous cous may soak up some of the flavorful dressing.
You want 4-ish cups of cooked pasta or grain.
Keywords: Asparagus salad, Asparagus salad recipe, asparagus cous cous salad, roasted asparagus salad recipe, spring salad,