Roasted asparagus with lemon-herb couscous

By Wendy Andresen | Apr 29, 2021
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

A basic recipe for roasted asparagus is essential in any cook’s repertoire. Asparagus is my favorite vegetable, and excessive adornment doesn’t seem to make it any more perfect than it is when almost naked. I do like to peel the bottom of thick stalks to make them more tender.

As a simple accompaniment, whole-wheat couscous is quick, healthy, and easy, and its neutral taste is perfect for soaking up the flavors of broth and herbs. It can seem dry, hence my suggestion to serve with lemon wedges and a drizzle of your best olive oil.

I had a few tiny rainbow peppers left in my refrigerator, and they roasted up in the same amount of time as the asparagus and filled out the color spectrum on the plate.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat couscous

3 cloves garlic, minced

Zest of 1 small lemon

Juice of 1/2 small lemon

2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1 pound asparagus

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

Lemon wedges for serving

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling (your very best)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Top a sheet pan with parchment, spread the almonds out evenly on it, and bake them for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl but save the parchment/sheet pan for roasting the asparagus.

2. Trim the tough bottoms off the asparagus and peel the bottom part of the stalks.

3. Bring the broth to a boil and add the couscous, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and half of the scallions, parsley and almonds. Save the remainder for garnishing. Stir the couscous once (taste for salt), and put the cover back on it. Remove it from the heat and let it rest while the asparagus is roasting, but keep it warm.

4. Increase the oven heat to 425 degrees. Lay the asparagus out on the parchment/sheet pan, drizzle the avocado oil over it, and add a little salt and pepper. Use the ends of the parchment to shuffle the spears back and forth to coat them evenly, and then spread them out in a single layer. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks and how tender you like them.

5. Serve the asparagus on top of the couscous. Garnish with the remaining herbs and almonds, along with lemon wedges and a drizzle of olive oil.

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