In response to the announcement made on April 6 by the Alberta government to return to Step 1 under "The Path Forward" Plan, the Calgary JCC weight room will be closed until further notice. One-on-one personal training remains a great option at this time, as well as private swim lessons and household pool bookings. Learn more...

Spring Asparagus Salad with Israeli Couscous

Karen is busy getting her spring recipes ready and is sharing one of her favourites: Spring Asparagus Salad with Israeli Couscous. For her, one of the first signs of spring is fresh asparagus, which is featured in this healthy and delicious recipe.

 

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings

 

Ingredients – Asparagus

  •  1–2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients – Couscous

  • 1½ cups dry Israeli Couscous (uncooked) or use orzo or quinoa (about 4 cups cooked)
  • ½ cup kalamata olives (pitted, sliced)
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts (optional, slivered almonds)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • ½ cup dill or fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 scallions, sliced at a diagonal
  • zest from one lemon (divided)

Ingredients – Dressing

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoon Red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Trim the tough ends of the asparagus off and lay trimmed stalks on a baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and cracked pepper, and half of the lemon zest.
  4. Roast in oven until just tender for about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Cool and cut into bite size pieces (if in a hurry, cut into bite-size pieces and blanch for approximately four minutes, drain and cool under cold water).
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add couscous, and cook until desired tenderness.
  7. Make the dressing in a small bowl, stirring all ingredients together.
  8. Drain couscous (if using for a salad run under cold water until cool, drain well) and place in a large bowl.
  9. Toss with dressing, olives, asparagus, tomatoes, feta, pine nuts, fresh herbs, scallions, and remaining lemon zest.
  10. Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your liking.
  11. Serve warm, or chill and serve as a salad.
  12. If serving chilled, taste the salad once more before serving and adjust seasoning if needed.
  13. Enjoy!