Spring Asparagus Salad

| Sunday, February 10th, 2013

This beautiful salad deserves a crystal bowl to show off in! It is always a hit for a picnic, luncheon or family gathering. With such a delicious blend of flavors and incredible nutrition it will be a “go to” recipe for you on many occasions. You could switch out the asparagus for avocado and added shrimp will create an entree dish.

1 garlic clove, minced
3T. sherry vinegar or lemon juice
1t. Dijon mustard
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil

21/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups dry Israeli couscous (it is the larger style couscous) or for gluten free 2 cups cooked al dente lentils
2 cups sliced pieces of fresh asparagus
1 large English unpeeled seedless cucumber diced (It is wrapped in plastic, dark green)
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 large chopped green onions
1 1/2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup mint leaves minced
1 cup feta cheese crumbled (omit for vegan)

Whisk the garlic, vinegar or lime, mustard and oil together until thick and set aside.

In a medium pot of boiling water blanch asparagus for 2 minutes then plunge in ice water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In the same pan bring broth to a rolling boil, add couscous and reduce heat after returning to a boil. Over a very low heat and covered, simmer couscous for 10 minutes, or until tender.

Once couscous is done place in large bowl and let cool for 30 minutes. To expedite cooling, toss with two large spoons until slightly warm.
Gently toss the reserved dressing and remaining ingredients into couscous. Sprigs of fresh mint on top looks beautiful!
Serve at room temperature.