Cous cous with asparagus and peas

Spring Couscous Salad

April 17, 2014Katie

Cous cous with asparagus and peas

If you haven’t made couscous before because it sounds fancy- schmancy and hard to make, you won’t believe how easy, and quick it is to make! This little pearly pasta is fairly healthy as well, depending how you cook it up.  And I think I did a pretty good job of keeping it fresh and light.

Add in some veggies and serve hot, or drizzle a bright lemon vinaigrette over it like I did for this dish and serve it chilled with spring veggies and fresh dressing and it’s a great salad along side some grilled meat on a warm day.

This is how simple it is.

Bring 3 cups of water just to a soft boil on your stove.

Once this boils, remove it from the heat and measure out 1 1/2 cups of it.

Enter the couscous.

Couscous origins hail from North Africa, (most heavy handidly in Morocco) and while originally made from millet, most Western quick-cooking versions are now made from semolina wheat that are moistened, then rolled into tiny balls and coated with fine wheat flour. So basically, cous cous is a tiny little pasta ball. The little pasta pearls are delicious, and fun to experiment with. They have a nice little pop in your mouth and paired with a nice dressing or even steamed with vegetable or chicken broth, they are an out of the normal dish to dine on.

There are typically 3 main sizes of couscous -Lebanese (large), Israeli (medium) and quick-cooking (small). Today, I used the Israeli size. I dumped one cup of it into a heat-safe bowl.

Then I added one and one-half cups of my boiling water right over top.

Next, I covered it with a plate (you could also use cling wrap). It’s greener and easier to use a plate! .

Next, I chopped up one cup of asparagus and tossed it into the remaining 2 cups of boiling water in my saucepan.

Also, I added in one cup of frozen peas, (use fresh if you can find them).

Bring these to a simmer again on the stove and let simmer 3-4 minutes. Then drain and return to pot and cover with water and ice to cool down.

In another small bowl, squeeze the juice of one lemon right into the bowl. This is about 2-3 tablespoons.

Whisk in the honey and then Drizzle in some olive oil -about 1/3 of a cup.


Oh yeah, whisk while you drizzle! It’s a tad bit hard to whisk, drizzle and snap photos.  Sorry!

Then chop up some I used about one tablespoon each of mint, parsley and chives.

Also add in 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. of cayenne pepper, just to make it interesting.

By now your couscous should be ready and steamed. Uncover it and taking a fork, fluff it up a bit, just in case it’s sticking.

Pour your vegetables right over top and your dressing as well.

Mix all of this up with a large spoon. Yummm.

You can eat this hot, or do like I did, and cover it and chill it for an hour. It’s a wonderful cold salad.

I think this would be fabulous topped with some grilled Ahi Tuna slices or even a nice piece of salmon. In the summer, serving it all cold would be so refreshing.

Have you had couscous? If not, can you think of a fun way to fix it? Let me know in the comments below!


Spring Couscous Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 1 c. cous cous (dry)
  • 31/2 c. water (divided)
  • 1 c. asparagus, tough stems snapped off, cut into ¾ inch pieces
  • 1 c. frozen or fresh peas
  • One large lemon, juiced (3 T.)
  • ⅓ c. olive oil
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T. parsley, chopped
  • 1 T. mint, chopped
  • 1 T. chives, chopped
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. cayenne
  2. Bring all water to a simmer on high heat.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in ½ cups of water in with cous cous in heat proof bowl. Cover with plate and let sit 5-7 minutes.
  4. Return pot with remaining water back on stove and add in asparagus and peas. Simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Drain and cool in ice water bath.
  6. In small bowl, squeeze in the juice of one lemon (2-3 T). Whisk in honey. Whisk in olive oil slowly.
  7. Chop herbs and mix in.
  8. Fluff couscous after 7 minutes with fork.
  9. Pour in peas and asparagus.
  10. Pour dressing over top.
  11. Mix well and chill, one hour.

Look at what other Food Network bloggers are making for Sensations Sides for Easter!

:Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Carrots with Za’atar
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Broccoli Cauliflower Carrot Salad with Greek Yogurt Honey Dressing
Dishin & Dishes: Spring Couscous Salad
The Lemon Bowl: Za’atar Roasted Carrots and Green Beans
Devour: 6 Easy Easter Sides
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spring Asparagus and Pancetta Bruschetta
Red or Green: Green Bean and Potato Salad with Feta and Peppers
Virtually Homemade: Roasted Baby Carrots with a Honey Sriracha Glaze
Cooking With Elise: Ham and Cheese Party Rolls
Bacon and Souffle: Spring Pea and Mint Frittata
Taste With The Eyes: A Spring-y Twist on Shrimp and Melon
FN Dish: Easy Easter Sides


  • elise johnson

    April 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Couscous... mint, parsley and chives -- how bad can that be? Yum!
  • Liz@Virtually Homemade

    April 22, 2014 at 11:46 am

    This salad looks delicious. Great minds think alike - I love couscous and made a spring salad last year that was very similar, with the addition of fresh orange and feta cheese. Always fun doing sensational sides with you :)
    1. Katie

      April 23, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Liz - just visited your version! yum! will have to try orange!
  • Feeding Friends: Roasted Carrots with Za’atar

    February 13, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    […] Living: Broccoli Cauliflower Carrot Salad with Greek Yogurt Honey Dressing Dishin & Dishes: Spring Couscous Salad The Lemon Bowl: Za’atar Roasted Carrots and Green Beans Devour: 6 Easy Easter Sides Napa […]

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