Spring is officially here, and Easter is coming this weekend! Easter is early this year and unfortunately here on the east coast the weather is not quite there yet. The forsythia should just be starting to bloom and the daffodils will be peeking up through the hard, cold ground, but it is still going to be chilly. I am planning some dishes for Easter that include spring vegetables, which should help me and my family feel like spring is here regardless of the weather!
I decided to make this big salad with pearl couscous mixed with spring vegetables over field greens & topped with a lemony vinaigrette. It uses vegetables that we usually associate with the season like peas, radishes, mint & green onions. It is fresh and delicious and would pair well as a side dish to any meat or fish.
Here is what you need:
Spring Couscous Salad
(enough for 4 servings – double for more people)
- 1 package of pearl couscous (cooked according to directions)
- 1 – 2 cup of english peas (lightly blanched and chilled)
- 2 cups of snow peas (lightly blanched and chilled)
- 1 cup of yellow squash (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup of red pepper (sliced and chopped)
- a few spring green onions (thinly sliced)
- 3 – 4 radishes (thinly sliced and chopped)
- 1/4 cup of fresh mint (chopped)
- 1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley (coarsely chopped)
- 2 lemons
- 1/ 2 cup of olive oil
- salt & fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 – 1 cup of feta cheese crumbles (reserve some to pass around)
- 4 cups of fresh field greens (mesclun, spring mix)
* Cook the couscous according to directions. Drain and then drizzle with some olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon. Add salt & fresh ground pepper to taste. Let chill in the refrigerator.
* Rinse and chop all of the vegetables into bite size pieces. Blanch the peas and beans in boiling water (only cook them for a quick minute – then put them in an ice bath to retain their bright green color and crispness). Then toss all of the chopped vegetables into the chilled couscous, reserving some to embellish the top of your salad before serving.
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon (more if you prefer more tartness)
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (grated lemon peel)
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- salt & fresh pepper (to taste)
- 1 Tb. of chopped parsely
* Arrange some field greens on a platter. Spoon the couscous, vegetable mixture on top and arrange some of the remaining chopped vegetables and some extra mint & parsley over that. (I like to add a bowl of plain field greens on the side for those who want more greens- we all like lots of greens!)
* When serving the salad pass a cruet of the vinaigrette, a small bowl of feta cheese and some salt & pepper for each person to use according to taste.
Enjoy!..and have Happy Easter!