This recipe came about wanting to celebrate asparagus season while also wanting an easy to pull together meal. In a matter of 20 minutes this dish can come together. It is also highly adaptable, so if you want to add in another spring herb or leave out the red onion go for it.
My trick for cooking brown rice quicker, is also what helps this recipe come together more quickly. Boiling the couches like pasta rather than a slow step has it cooked through in 3-4 minutes flat.
Easy Asparagus Couscous Bowl
Yields: about 4 servings
1 Bunch of Asparagus*
8-9 oz of Oyster or other Mushroom of choice
1.5 c Large Pearl Couscous
1 c Chopped Red Onion
2 c Cooked Chickpeas
½ c Chopped Green Onion
1 tsp Oil + more for coating
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Optional Suggestions: Vegan Feta** and a Diced Avocado
1 tbsp Grated Garlic (about 2 cloves)
1/2 c Chives (or green onion) Minced
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
2-3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ c Good Quality Olive Oil
¼ tsp Salt
*Asparagus at the farmers market sometime comes in smaller bunches than at the grocery store. In that case use 1.5-2 bunches.
1. Preheat your oven to 375F. Oil two sheet pans. And place a large saucepan filled halfway with water onto boil.
2. Chop off the bottom 1” of your asparagus. You can insert your nail to check if it is woody (if so, chop off another ½”). Then cut the asparagus into thirds. Pill in the middle of the sheet pan, drizzle with oil and a large pinch of salt. Toss to coat and spread out. Roast for 10-14 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them. Once done, pull from the oven and drizzle over 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
3. Tear the mushrooms into large bite size pieces, coat with oil and salt in the same way as the asparagus. Spread over sheet pan and roast until the edge start to brown. (Depending on the type of mushroom timing may vary) Check ever 3-5 minutes after the first 10 minutes.
4. Submerge the red onions in a small bowl of water. This will mellow some of their sharpness.
5. Once the water has come to a boil, add a large palmful of salt. Then add in the couscous and reduce the temperature to medium high. Start checking for doneness (no more crunchy middle) after only about 3 minutes. Typically, will only take 3-4 minutes to cook with this method. Drain with a colander and rinse with cool water to stop from overcooking. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil to prevent sticking. Empty into a large mixing bowl.
6. Mix the dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine.
7. Add the drained red onion, chickpeas, green onion, as well as the feta and avocado if using to the mixing bowl with the couscous. Then pour the dressing over the bowl and toss to combine. Adjust to personal taste. Does it need more acid, salt, or maybe a tad sweetness from something like a drop of maple syrup.
8. Plate up the couscous and top with the mushrooms and then asparagus.