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Asparagus Couscous Salad

With fresh herbs and veggies, this salad brings flavors of the season straight to your plate.

Recipe by Sarah McCullen | Photographed by Joe Worthem

Before summer officially arrives in north Mississippi, celebrate the last of springtime with a salad featuring a favorite spring veggie: asparagus. Serve it as a side dish with your favorite grilled dinner or as a satisfying lunchtime entree.

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 cup Israeli couscous

½ cup kalamata olives, sliced

½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

¼ cup chopped fresh mint

2 scallions, chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

¾ cup crumbled goat cheese

½ cup chopped pistachios

Preheat oven to 375°F. On a baking sheet, drizzle asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and roast until tender and bright green, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool for 3 to 4 minutes, then chop into 1- to 2-inch pieces.

In a small saucepan, bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil, and add couscous. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine olives, parsley, mint, scallions and chopped asparagus. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon zest and juice, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and remaining 1/3 cup olive oil. Drizzle over veggies, and toss to combine. Add goat cheese, and toss. Add couscous, and toss again. Chill for at least 1 hour. Stir in pistachios just before serving.

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