Well, readers, spring has officially sprung here on Apple a Day. The days have become warm here in Phoenix, the orange trees are blossoming, the good songs are on the radio, and the produce in the grocery store is changing. The berries are looking good again and the peas and asparagus are a bright, beautiful green–just ready to be the stars of the show.
This salad was sure to be a win. I could take or leave asparagus, but it’s outstanding here. It’s not that I dislike asparagus, I just don’t see the big deal about it. I’d rather have a lot of other vegetables. Still, I realize many of you would probably list it among your favorite vegetables. So, here you go! A delicious, fresh, couldn’t be simpler salad. I hope you make it this spring and enjoy it al fresco with a nice light glass of wine, like I did.
Israeli Coucous Salad with Roasted Asparagus, Artichokes, and Spinach
from Two Peas & Their Pod
3 c. water
1 1/2 c. dry Israeli Couscous
14 asparagus spears
2 tsp. olive oil
juice of 2 lemons, divided
1 c. jarred artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 c. chopped fresh spinach
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling (optional–the salad is vegan otherwise)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a medium saucepan, bring three cups of water to a boil. Add a
generous pinch of salt and stir in the Israeli couscous. Reduce heat to a
simmer and cook until couscous is just tender, with a slight bite, 10-13 minutes. Drain into a fine mesh strainer and set aside.
2. While the couscous is cooking, roast the asparagus. Preheat the
oven to 400 degrees F. Place the asparagus spears on a large baking
sheet and drizzle with olive oil and juice from 1/2 of a lemon. Season
with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast for 10-12 minutes, or until
spears are tender. Let spears cool and then cut into one-inch pieces.
3. In a large bowl, combine couscous, asparagus,
artichokes, and spinach. Squeeze lemon juice, from the remaining 1 1/2 lemons, over the salad. Stir well. Sprinkle salad with
Parmesan cheese, if desired and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
yield: 3-4 servings