A vibrant vegan Moroccan Couscous Salad with Spring vegetables like asparagus, spring onions and red peppers. Chickpeas add protein and more deliciousness. A vegan, nut-free and soy-free recipe.
Aren't you glad Spring's finally here?
It has been a long time coming to the Northeast this year. Desi must have switched the heating off and on a half a dozen times, and all of my sweaters are still hanging in the closet. But these last couple of days have definitely started to feel the way they should.
Jay and I have been going on long walks every evening, looking at the blooming gardens in our neighborhood. When I was in primary school, a music teacher set William Wordsworth's Daffodils to music, to make us Bombay kids, who had never set eyes on a daffodil, better remember the words. It worked -- not only do I remember the poem to this day, but now Jay's been singing it each time he sees the sunny yellow flowers clustered in almost every yard. As the daffodils fade away, and the tulips rear their pretty heads, he has replaced "daffodils" with "tulips." "A host of pink tulips," he trills, rhyme and rhythm be damned. It's rather cute.
In the kitchen, I'm trying to use the seasonal bounty of vegetables to cook up delicious vegan spring recipes. This Moroccan Couscous Salad is one of them.
Asparagus is one of the joys of Spring, and although this veggie-- like most others -- is now available year-round where most of us live, it seems to taste a little extra special in Spring. In this salad, it is rather divine.
I added chickpeas to the recipe because they are another common Moroccan ingredient and they add some important protein to this dish, along with the almonds.
This is a versatile recipe, so don't restrict yourself to the veggies I used: red peppers and spring onions, along with the asparagus. You can use zucchini here or broccoli or snow peas or green beans. They will taste amazing once they are all dressed up in vibrant Moroccan spices and herbs. This is one dish where roasted eggplant would shine.
Make a pot of this and then go outside with a bottle of wine and dine al fresco amidst all the daffodils and tulips in your backyard.
Vegan Moroccan Couscous Salad with Spring Veggies
- 1 cup couscous
- 2 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned, drained)
- 20 asparagus spears (tough ends trimmed, then cut into ¼-inch pieces)
- 1-2 large roasted red bell peppers
- 6 spring onions (green and white parts chopped)
- 8-10 medjool dates (chopped, can use golden raisins instead)
- ½ cup almonds (roasted, coarsely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup cilantro (minced)
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 green cardamom pods (seeds removed, then crushed into a powder. Discard skins.)
- 2 teaspoon cumin (roasted and powdered)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- Salt to taste
- Make the dressing by blending all ingredients together really well. Use a blender or a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, bring 1 ¾ cups of water to boil. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
- When the water boils, add the couscous and turn off the heat. Stir once to mix, then cover and let the couscous stand at least 10 minutes.
- In a larger pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Add the asparagus, season with salt and ground black pepper, and stir-fry about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the couscous and the chickpeas and heat unitl warmed through, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off the heat and add the roasted red peppers and spring onions along with the dressing, almonds, dates, and coriander. Stir well to mix.
- Serve warm or cold.
1 3/4 cups of water per 1 cup of couscous makes very wet and mushy couscous! I usually use 1 1/3 cups of water and it always comes out perfect but I decided to follow the recipe and it didn't work, at least not with the couscous I have...
This was delicious! I made this the very day you posted this. I used whole wheat pearl couscous b/c that's what I had. It was terrific, as are all of your recipes! You have a terrific blog. (Note: it takes a long time for my little laptop to load your pictures as well...though they're worth the wait it does get frustrating.)
Hi Morgan, so glad you tried it! Great idea to use whole wheat pearl couscous-- the thought crossed my mind too while I was making it, but I didn't have it on hand. Good to have your feedback. And thanks so much for your encouraging words. I am going to explore the slow loading.
Hello! Let me first compliment you for your recipes and your style: I like what you cook for us and I find your introductions interesting, funny and at times moving. I just wanted to let you know ( I don't know if it has been pointed out before) that quite often your website takes a long time to upload or it does only partially, making it not so user friendly. I have tried on different computers and had the same problem. I think it has to do with the adds or...I don't know, I am not very technical! Just thought I'd let you know and...keeeep blogging! Ivan
Hi Ivan, thanks for your comment, and for your kind words! I am going to look into the possible cause for the slow loading. Thanks for letting me know.
How lovely to hear that! A belated happy birthday to your husband, and thanks for letting me know. 🙂
Also, I wanted to add. I had left a comment on your mango cake recipe. I made it for my husband's birthday and it turned out delicious! The frosting was perfect too 🙂 I made it as one cake instead of cup-cakes and we loved it 😀
I don't know if you cook with millets Vaishali. I do and this would be great with millets! (Not the biggest fan of cous-cous). Millets are sort of in-between cous-cous and quinoa - you should try it sometime! I am going to 😀
Hey there, what a great idea to use millet! I use millet flour quite often, but not millet grains. I am going to pick some up the next time I am at Whole Foods.