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Overhead shot of the pearl couscous salad in a large serving bowl.
Course Salad, Side Dish

Pearl Couscous Salad with Roasted Asparagus and Chickpeas

By: Elysia
Servings 6 servings
This Israeli or Pearl Couscous Salad with roasted asparagus and chickpeas is the perfect side dish for summer picnics, parties, BBQs and meal prep! The lemon olive oil dressing adds a refreshing burst of flavour that makes it a definite crowd pleaser! It can be made in less than 30 minutes! (Vegetarian)
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Ingredients
  

For the salad:

  • 1 lb asparagus chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup uncooked Israeli couscous
  • 1 1/4 cup no salt added broth can use chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil divided
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup cooked or canned no salt-added chickpeas
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

For the Lemon Dressing

  • Juice of one medium lemon (about 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss asparagus until evenly coated. Roast asparagus for 10-15 minutes, until tender but still crisp. If it's extra thick, it may require more time.
  • Meanwhile, place the couscous, broth and one tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until couscous is fluffy. It should have an "al dente" texture when done. Once cooked, fluff with fork and allow to cool.
  • While the asparagus and couscous are cooking, mix all of the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl or jar.
  • Add the cooked couscous, roasted asparagus, feta cheese, chickpeas, and sun-dried tomatoes (if using) to a large bowl. Add in desired amount of dressing (I only used half).
  • Place in the fridge for at least half an hour to allow flavours to absorb.

Notes

  • The nutritional information is based on using all of the dressing. If you choose to use less, the nutritional facts will be different.
  • I recommend using asparagus that's medium size in thickness. I find if it's too thin, it almost gets too stringy and chewy when roasted. 
  • Cook the Israeli couscous in reduced sodium broth to infuse some extra flavour into it while it's cooking. You can use vegetable or chicken broth -- it's totally up to you.
  • Don't skip the step where you add the olive oil to the couscous while it's cooking. Israeli couscous tends to get fairly sticky once cooked so the addition of the olive oil can help prevent it from sticking together.
  • Be sure to watch the couscous closely while it's cooking. It tends to cook fairly fast (about 8-10 minutes), so you'll want to make sure that you check it so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. It should have an al dente texture.
  • The recipe for the lemon dressing makes more than you'll probably need. I only used half of the dressing for one batch of this salad. When I make dressing, I always like to make extra because that way I can use it on other salads or make the same salad the next week as well! Saves the trouble of having the make the dressing again.
  • I have discovered the best lemon juicer EVER. I love to make lemon-infused recipes so this thing is definitely coming in handy. Everyone NEEDS one of these juicers in their life!

Nutrition

Calories: 470kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 11gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 499mgPotassium: 322mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 659IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 135mgIron: 3mg
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