- 2 Cups Pearl Couscous
- 1 Bunch Asparagus trimmed and cut into 1’’ pieces
- 8 ounces Snap Peas
- 3 ounces Spinach Leaves stemmed and chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2-3 Scallions thinly sliced
- 2-3 Radishes thinly sliced
- ½ Cup Almonds
- 4 ounces Perline Mozzarella Balls (can substitute Bocconcini or shredded mozzarella)
- Lemon-Basil Pesto:
- 1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves* packed
- 1 clove of Garlic
- 3 TBS Pine Nuts toasted*
- ¼ Cup Parmesan grated
- 1 small Lemon zest and juice
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper , to taste
- Optional Garnishes: Microgreens, Lemon Wedges, Fresh Basil
Blanch the Asparagus: Fill a medium bowl with water and ice. Set aside. Bring 4 cups of salted water to a boil*. Add the stalks of asparagus to the pot and boil for 2 ½ minutes. Add in the asparagus tips and continue to boil for an additional minute*, or until the asparagus is tender-crisp. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the asparagus to the ice water bath to stop the asparagus from cooking further. Let sit 2, or more minutes, and then drain.
Add the couscous to the boiling water. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse the couscous under cold water.
Meanwhile, Make the Lemon-Basil Pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice, zest, ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Pulse until everything is finely chopped. With machine running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and process until smooth.* Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To serve: In a large bowl toss the drained couscous and asparagus with the pesto. Add in the snap peas, spinach, and scallions. Toss again. Top with radishes, mozzarella and sprinkle with almonds and optional garnishes. Enjoy!
When cutting your asparagus into bite sized pieces, make sure you keep the stalks and tips separate. The stalks will take longer to cook and become tender-crisp than the tips, so make sure you add them to the pot first.
To save time and energy, you are going to use the same pot of water to cook both the asparagus and the couscous. So make sure you use a slotted spoon, or skimmer, to transfer the asparagus to an ice water bath. DO NOT just dump the asparagus into a colander or you will have to boil another pot of water, which isn’t a big deal, but it is a waste of time. And no one likes that.
Did You Know?
Asparagus has been cultivated for over 2,500 years and for almost 150 years in the United States.
The vegetable is low in calories and is packed with nutrients, including fiber, folate, vitamin A, C, and K.
Adding asparagus to your diet can improve digestion, help with weight loss and lower blood pressure.
This vegetable is very easy to cook and can pair really well with just about any dish.
Asparagus contains absolutely no fat or cholesterol so it’s pretty much the perfect diet food!