This colorful spring salad is a delicious mix of couscous, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and arugula, all dressed up with spoonfuls of shockingly delicious sweet and sour Agrodolce.
- 1 1/2 cups dried couscous, preferably Israeli (But, moroccan will do)
- 1 batch agrodolce, at room temperature
- 1–2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb asparagus
- 3 large carrots, ends trimmed and peeled
- 1 medium to large yellow onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 16 oz cauliflower, broken into small florets
- 16 oz cherry tomatoes
- 3 cups arugula, spinach or kale
- 1 large lemon
- Cook the couscous according to the package instructions and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.
- If you’ve made the Agrodolce ahead of time, and have been storing it in the refrigerator, let it sit out for an hour or so to allow it to come to room temperature. Alternatively, heat it in the microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring and testing the temperature, until it’s at room temperature.
- Prepare asparagus by snapping the spears in half, allowing them to break where ever they naturally want to. Discard the bottom half of the spears, or freeze them for use in Cream of Asparagus Soup. Cut the tips into 1-inch pieces.
- Prepare the carrots by slicing them into strips that are 2-3 inches long and no thicker than a pencil.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skillet set over medium high heat. Add the carrots and asparagus to the hot pan, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and sauté for about 2 minutes, just until they are crisp tender and beginning to blacken in places. You might need to do this in batches to avoid over crowding the pan. Use tongs to lift the cooked veggies out of the pan and into a large bowl.
- Place the pan back on the heat and add about 1 tsp more oil if the skillet is dry. Add the sliced onion, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown. Use tongs to remove the cooked onion from the pan, placing it in the bowl with the carrots and asparagus.
- Put the pan back on the heat and add about 1 tsp more oil if the skillet is dry. Add the cauliflower florets, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and sauté until the pieces are blackening around the edges, about 5 minutes. Use tongs to remove the florets from the pan and place in the bowl with the other veggies.
- Return the skillet to the heat and add 1 tsp more oil if the skillet is dry. Add the cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until their skin is blistered, 3-4 minutes. Dump the cherry tomatoes into the bowl with the other veggies.
- Add the arugula to the bowl with the other vegetables. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over the vegetables and toss to combine. Add the cooked couscous to the bowl with the vegetables and gently stir to combine.
- Divide the salad onto plates and serve topped with several spoonfuls of agrodolce.
*If you’re making this as a part of Spring Meal Plan #5, skip step 2 and 3. Instead, put the carrots and asparagus you cooked and reserved earlier in the week into a large bowl. Top with additional sautéed veggies, letting the heat of the freshly cooked veggies warm the carrots and asparagus slightly.
Keywords: salad, couscous salad, sautéed vegetable salad, agrodolce, spring vegetable salad