This salad is so pretty with the beautiful green vegetables next to the spheres of cous cous dressed in a simple lemony dressing. It’s also pretty simple to throw together and great as a meal by itself or as a side.
I think I’ve gone broad bean mad. They’re in my garden and going for $2 a bag at the local market and I just want to eat them with everything. They’re so sweet and fresh I can’t get enough and paired with other green vegetables like the asparagus here or the zucchini in this pasta they’re just the perfect thing to add. I don’t know why. They’re also super tasty as a dip! The textures in this salad are perfect, fresh mint, tender asparagus and those sweet just cooked broad beans are perfect against the crunchy almonds, sharp feta and pearls of cous cous.
I have a friend who was telling me the other day about how gross cous cous is. School camp versions of soggy cous cous have put him off it for life. If you’re in his camp (ha! sorry…) then have you met pearl cous cous yet? It’s also called Israeli cous cous and it’s so not the same thing as the short grain stuff you’ve stuffed up cooking many times before. This guy gets toasted in some olive oil first for extra delicious flavour then cooked in stock until it’s al dente. If you don’t have stock you can just use water. You can also add herbs and lemon or orange zest while you’re cooking it but just olive oil and stock is really delicious.
I’ve used it before in this more wintry dish where it’s served with grilled chicken and roasted pumpkin and it’s one of my favourite things to eat. If you’re cooking it in stock don’t add extra salt but if you’re using water salt will be your friend.
You can leave out the dill if you’re not into it or just to not have to buy as many herbs. If you’re one of those clever people with a herb garden though, chuck it in because dill and spring vegetables is delicious. Or use fennel fronds instead if you have that lying around for some reason…
Anyway this salad is full of fresh green veg and spring flavours. It will fill you up all by itself but is also lovely with a soft poached egg. It can be served with the cous cous warm or cold, it will just depend how quickly you work.
If you’re all about simplifying how you cook in your home then you should also check out Marley Spoon, they’ve got lots of healthy options and the recipes are simple and easy to make. You can also get $35 off with this code: HEALTHYHUNTER. (This link is an affiliate link and a small commission is earned to keep this little blog going, thank you for your support!)
1 Tbs olive oil
250g pearl cous cous
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock/bone broth/water
3 bunches asparagus
2 cups broad beans
1/2 cup mint leaves, large ones roughly torn
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup dill (optional)
1/4 cup finely sliced spring onion or 1 finely sliced shallot
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs olive oil
Heat 1 Tbs of olive oil in a large heavy based pan. Add couscous and cook, stirring frequently until toasted and golden brown. Add water/stock and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Remove from pan.
Remove wooded ends from asparagus and slice into 3 cm pieces. Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add broad beans, cook for 3 minutes if fresh and 5 if frozen. Remove from water with a slotted spoon, refresh in cold water. Bring the pot of water back to the boil. Add asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Drain and refresh in ice cold water.
Pod broad beans to remove outer skin and then place in a large bowl with the cous cous, asparagus, onion and herbs. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil and toss to combine. Check seasoning.
Place on a serving platter or individual plates and top with the almonds, a sprinkle of lemon zest and the feta. Finish with some cracked black pepper.