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Asparagus Salad with Israeli Couscous, roasted asparagus, kalamata olives, pine nuts, feta, lemon zest, and mint with a lemony dressing. A healthy delicious spring-inspired salad!

A delicious recipe for Spring Asparagus Salad with Cous Cous, kalamata olives, lemon zest and Mint in a zesty lemony dressing.|
There is a morning inside you waiting to burst open into Light. 
In this asparagus salad recipe,  asparagus gets roasted and tossed with Israeli Cous Cous, kalamata olives, feta and a lemony dressing. It can be served warm, as a tasty side dish to fish, poultry or beef – or served chilled, as a vibrant and hearty spring salad.  If you are going gluten-free, substitute quinoa or wild rice!
Fresh Asparagus
They are everywhere – buttercups, crocuses, little blue scillas, and budding syringa, all telltale signs of Spring. The earth is warming up and oh my, it feels so incredibly good. In Spring, all of a sudden, anything seems possible, doesn’t it?
Another sure sign of Spring is asparagus. It’s also everywhere and finally, at last, reasonable priced. We’ve been buying it up by the case for catering, and of course, the leftovers get to come home… and I’ve been loving it this Simple Asparagus 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 the stem that doesn’t get used, but those ends will most likely be very woody and chewy.

Roasted Asparagus

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 ( or use a grain!) kalamata olives, feta, lemon zest and mint with a lemony dressing. #asparagus #asparagussalad
In this Asparagus Salad recipe, you can roast the asparagus (preferred) –but if pressed for time, toss bite-size pieces of asparagus in the boiling pot of Israeli cous cous, right at the very end, for a quick 1-2 minute blanch. Then drain together.
Israeli cous cous, if unfamiliar, is similar to regular couscous in that it’s made from flour, like pasta, but it’s bigger in size and looks like tiny pearls.  It can be found in most bulk sections of the grocery store. If unavailable, try orzo pasta! While the cous cous is cooking, make the simple dressing.
Then, once the Israeli cous cous is cooked and asparagus is roasted,  just toss all the ingredients together in a bowl with the dressing– kalamata olives, feta, lemon zest, pine nuts (optional). I like adding tarragon, especially in Spring, but if its not your thing, mint, basil, Italian parsley or other tender herbs work well too. Serve the Asparagus Salad warm,  as a tasty side dish, or chill it for later!
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20 Delicious Asparagus Recipes! Spring Asparagus Salad with olives, lemon and couscous.

Spring Asparagus Salad with Israeli Cous Cous


Spring Asparagus Salad with Israeli Cous Cous,  kalamata olives, feta, lemon zest and mint! Gluten – free adaptable!


Units Scale
  • 12 bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • —–
  • 1 1/2 cups dry Israeli Cous Cous (uncooked) or use orzo, quinoa, freekah, or regular cous cous ( about 4 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives ( pitted, sliced)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese ( optional)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (optional, sub slivered almonds)
  • 1/2 cup dill or Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon (optional)
  • 3 scallions, sliced at a diagonal
  • Zest from one lemon (divided)



  1. 425 F oven.
  2. 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.)
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add Israeli Cous Cous, and cook until al dente.
  4. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, stir all ingredients together.
  5. 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.
  6. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your liking.
  7. Serve warm, or chill and serve as a salad.
  8. 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.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 375
  • Sugar: 2.2 g
  • Sodium: 597.1 mg
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.5 g
  • Fiber: 5.5 g
  • Protein: 10.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 11.1 mg

Keywords: Asparagus salad, Asparagus salad recipe, asparagus cous cous salad, roasted asparagus salad recipe, spring salad,


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  1. Really looking forward to making this, but disappointed to see my favorite food blog participate in culinary colonialism by rebranding maftoul as “Israeli”. Please do consider reading up on this important topic.

  2. This salad was amazing! I’m super fussy and always looking for the perfect summer salads and this was a home run. I can’t wait to make it again. I did not use tarragon and I did 1 T. of whole grain mustard and 1-2 T. of Dijon. I used both parsley and dill and used chives instead of green onion. This is the perfect summer side salad. I don’t know that I’ve ever written a review, but had to for this one.

    1. Awww… thanks, Brooke! Glad you enjoyed it! This is an older recipe- so it’s good to hear it still works. 😉

  3. I made this today with farm fresh asparagus and it was so delicious! I used dill but didn’t use any tarragon because I didn’t have it and I used Jovial’s GF orzo instead of quinoa. This is now a springtime favorite. Everyone had seconds!

  4. Love the combinations of flavors in this salad, however I can’t believe no one has said anything about the dressing! I made it as suggested and it was so tart it made me pucker! I added some honey to it which helped even out the flavors. I think next time I might use Dijon instead, and cut back on either the amount of lemon or mustard, and definitely add honey.

    Great salad other than that though!

  5. Thanks so much for this recipe! Kindly note that the product sold as “Israeli couscous” is actually an appropriated and rebranded version of “maftoul”, a traditional pasta made by Palestinians.

  6. Love this recipe – I’ve made it with both orzo and quinoa, and it’s fantastic. I’ve also made small adjustments with the dressing (champagne vinegar instead of red wine, dijon mustard/honey mustard instead of whole grain) and it’s still very tasty. Definitely a lot of flexibility with this recipe, which is great!
    Also – are the scallions supposed to go in the salad or is that a mistake on the ingredient list? I’m sure it would taste great but I’ve never added them.

  7. Once again, an absolutely delicious dish from Sylvia! I cook something from your blog at least once a week and have never been disappointed. Thank you! Quick, easy and delicious. I made this with quinoa since I didn’t have the couscous and it was perfect. Served with a salmon fillet! Happy bellies tonight.

  8. I love this recipe. I substituted cous cous for Farro and paired it with grilled shrimp for dinner. It was hearty but healthy. The flavor is fresh and delicious and perfect for spring. I will definitely be making this again. I like how it can be served warm or cold, making it the perfect dish to bring to a party. Thanks!

  9. This was simple and easy and full of flavor! Added the asparagus to the cous cous water for faster cooking! So delicious!

  10. oh, Sylvia, these flavors are wonderful together!! I have not used tarragon much and I really enjoyed the combination with the lemon and parsley.

  11. These images are knocking me out! They are simply stunning! Pinning, and then shopping for the ingredients, stat!

  12. I swear I ate so much of this I gained a few! Just a tip: if you just use a vegetable peeler and peel off those little leafy things on the stalk of the asparagus, it makes it much less bitter and even more delicious 🙂

    Thank you so much for this delicious recipe xx

  13. Um, YUM. Some of my very favorite things, and may I just say… those are the loveliest lemon zest curls I’ve ever seen! 😉 Thanks for sharing!

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