asparagus salad in white bowl on blue background
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Grilled Asparagus Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Smoky grilled asparagus, sweet bell peppers and chewy couscous are married with an herby tart dressing
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: salad, side dish
Servings: 4

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 1 pound asparagus trimmed
  • 1 each red bell pepper
  • 8 oz pearl couscous

For the Dressing

  • 2 cup cilantro
  • 1 each scallion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar of choice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Instructions

For the Salad

  • Preheat the grill.
  • Wash and trim the woody ends of the asparagus. Toss the asparagus and bell pepper in olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the pepper and asparagus until slightly charred and starting to soften. Set aside to cool.
  • Cook the pearl couscous according to the package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.

For the Dressing

  • Wash the cilantro and scallion and roughly chop. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and run until smooth. Alternatively, use a blender, but place the chunkiest items in the bottom. 

Assembly

  • Cut the cooled asparagus and bell pepper into bite sized pieces. Toss the vegetables, pearl couscous and half of the dressing together. Add salt and pepper, to taste. 
  • Serve with the remaining dressing. As the salad sits it will absorb the dressing, and the flavor will dull, so adding extra at serving will boost the flavor.

Notes

The dressing is a great way to use cilantro stems. They're packed with the same flavor, and the food processor or blender will break down any woody texture.
Is cilantro not your thing? Substitute with an equal amount of basil, parsley or mix of the two.