Toasted Couscous Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes
Couscous may look like a grain, but it is really a tiny pasta. Toasting it first makes it fragrant, and gives it a slightly nutty flavor. We added enough protein and veggies to make it a full but light meal, and a flavorful vinaigrette adds a LOT of flavors to bring it all together!
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Zest of 3 lemons
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
- 6-8 thinly sliced green onions (scallions)
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbsp capers, drained
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 2 cups couscous
- 1/2 bundle of fresh asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
Begin by heating up the chicken broth. While broth is coming to a boil, toast the couscous. Over moderately high to high heat, dry toast the couscous in a wide pan, stirring as you go, until golden brown and fragrant (about 5 minutes). Once the broth has come up to a boil, stir in the couscous, toss in the asparagus spears, cover and turn off the heat. After 5 minutes, the broth should be absorbed and you can fluff it with a fork.
During that 5 minutes, prepare the vinaigrette: combine lemon juice, olive oil, capers, basil, lemon zest, tomatoes, green onions, tomatoes, cooked chicken, salt and pepper. Now, combine the cooked couscous and asparagus with the vinaigrette and stir gently to combine. I prefer it served hot; however if you would like to serve it as a cold salad, of course that is up to you. If you will not be serving it immediately, consider making additional vinaigrette. This is a pasta, and it will soak up all the vinaigrette. You don't want it to be dry when you serve it!!!
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