Monday, March 26, 2012

Meatless Monday--Israeli Coucous with Roasted Asparagus, Artichokes, and Spinach

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

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.  Serve 3-4.

5 comments :

Anonymous said...

I'm in your camp. I'm not a big fan of asparagus.
I usually sub in broccoli.

Kelli said...

What a great spring dish!

I recently nominted you for the Versatile Blogger award. I'm so glad to have found your blog and love all the amazing recipes you share!! You can find more info here - http://thecornerkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/03/award.html

Bridget said...

I feel the same way you do about asparagus, but I'm having it for dinner tonight. Not so much for my husband, although he does like it, but just because it's spring and it felt like the thing to do. I don't usually drink alcohol on weekdays, but the white wine idea to go with it is super tempting!

Meaghan said...

This sounds great! I am hosting an asparagus-themed linky party at 2sisters2cities.com for our Fresh Produce Tuesday series. I would love if you linked this post up!

Juicer said...

I love asparagus almost any way you prepare it. Thanks for this post!