When it comes to side dishes for American dinners, rice and pasta have long been the staple. However, as more Americans are becoming more adventurous in their food choices, other foods have hit the dinner table and found a stable place there. In the past several years, one of the foods that more and more people are adding to their dinner menu is couscous.
The reason for this is because it is really easy to make, it is very versatile, and acts as a healthy substitute for some other heartier carbs. There are a number of different ways to prepare couscous. In fact, this grain does not need to be kept as a side dish as it can also be used as a great main dish because it is extremely versatile.
Here are 14 unique recipes to help you get started on your couscous adventure.
1. Asparagus Salad with Couscous
What you need:
- 2 bunches of asparagus, trimmed
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups of Israeli couscous, uncooked
- ½ cup of kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- ½ cup of feta cheese
- ½ cup of toasted pine nuts
- ½ cup of basil, mint, dill, or Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 scallions, cut at a diagonal
- Lemon zest
For the dressing:
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 3 tbsp of whole grain mustard
- 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim the asparagus. Lay the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil over it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and half of the lemon zest. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until tender. Cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the couscous. Cook until al dente. While cooking the couscous, make the dressing. In a bowl, mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Drain the couscous and place in a bowl. Toss with the dressing. Add in the olives, feta, asparagus, pine nuts, lemon zest, and fresh herbs. Serve warm or chilled.