Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Asparagus, Tomato & Basil Couscous


About this gorgeous weather that we've started having...Thank you.  I am completely on board with Mother Nature doing a 180 and finally realizing what time of year it is.  And this "change of heart" is perfectly timed with the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.

Since spring is finally springing, I guess I should stop showing you recipes with chocolate, huh? (The correct answer is: No.) Never, ever fear.  There is chocolate in the quite immediate future, but for now, we will have fresh vegetables, mixed with some couscous and cheese.  Who can hate on that?

This quick and easy dish came to me from one of my favorite blogs, Shutterbean.  Tracy never fails to find just the right thing to make at the right time.  When I saw this post last week, I knew I had to get the ingredients and make it.  Here's a note, though.  I had very few of the ingredients already, but once I subbed out a few items, it turned out that all I needed was some asparagus.  

Me - 1, Dead zone where my perishable food goes to curl up and die - 0.

Asparagus, Tomato & Basil Couscous
slightly adapted from Shutterbean's recipe
serves 4-6

Print Recipe

  • 1 package couscous
  • 1 bunch asparagus (1/2 to 1 lb)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, chopped
  • 1 large Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup Camembert cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • juice of 1 lemon

1) Cook couscous according to instructions on package. Set aside.

2) Preheat a large saucepan to medium-high heat. Drizzle the asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Grill 3-4 minutes per side, until charred & slightly tender.  Transfer the asparagus to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Set aside.

3) In a large bowl, toss the prepared couscous with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir in the nuts, tomatoes and asparagus.

4) Gently stir in the Camembert and basil.  Squeeze the lemon juice on top to finish off the dish.

5) Season generously with salt & pepper.  Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.

Can I tell you how the flavors of all these fresh spring ingredients come together to produce a nice light side dish?  It's insane!  I definitely recommend showing up at your first summer BBQ bearing this as a gift.  You will not be allowed to bring another side dish for the rest of the summer.

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