Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

There is that time of year when all you want to feed yourself is fresh, crunchy, cold (or maybe room temperature) food. The time when you are drinking more cold beverages than you thought possible. And when you are going to backyard gatherings or picnics in the park. That time of the year is now and all I want are things that are stuffed with fresh herbs from the garden, salty, tangy, and maybe a little spicy. Luckily, this simple salad satisfies all of those cravings.

How simple? First, throw a bunch of herbs, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar into a food processor. Toast your couscous until it is golden, then cook it with broth to give it some extra love. Sauté the asparagus and peas for just a few minutes, until they have just a touch of color but are mostly a vibrant green. Top all of this with crumbled feta for a touch of salty briny tang, and enjoy. Don’t worry, you’ll have sauce leftover to drizzle over any thing hot off the grill.

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus and Snap Peas

Serves 6

Ingredients

Herbed Vinegar Dressing

3 cloves garlic
1 shallot
1 small fresno pepper or similar medium-spicy pepper, seeded
1 1/2 tsp fresh oregano
1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
1/3 cup packed parsley leaves and tender stems
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
A few grinds of fresh black pepper

Couscous, Asparagus, and Snap Peas

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous
1 3/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Salt + pepper
1/2 lb asparagus (roughly one bunch), sliced into ~1-inch pieces
1/2 lb sugar snap peas, sliced on the diagonal in 1/4-1/8-inch slices
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

Herbed Vinegar Dressing

If you have a food processor, combine all the ingredients in the bowl and pulse until the oil and vinegar are emulsified and the herbs are minced. Taste and add more salt, vinegar, or herbs to taste. Set dressing aside.

Couscous, Asparagus, and Snap Peas

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the couscous, sprinkle with salt and sauté, stirring, until much of the couscous is golden brown and you can smell a toasty aroma, about five minutes. Add the broth, bring it to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for ten minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid.

While the couscous is cooking, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus and snap pea slices, sprinkle with a hefty pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about three minutes or until the vegetables are gently cooked but still bright green and with some crunch. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.

When the couscous is cooked, add to the bowl with the vegetables, and let it sit until it’s warm, but not hot. Once it has cooled a bit, add about 2/3 cup of the herbed dressing and the crumbled feta. Gently stir to combine. Add more dressing to taste. Serve and enjoy.

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