5 from 2 votes
Overhead photo of Lemon Couscous Salad in a neutral colored serving bowl with a ramekin of crumbled ricotta salata, white wine glass, spoons and pink linen arranged around the bowl.
Lemon Couscous Salad Recipe
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
This quick and easy lemon couscous salad is healthy, light and bursting with fresh flavor!  Packed with asparagus, snap peas, ricotta salata and a citrusy lemon vinaigrette this salad is perfect for lunch, as a side dish or light dinners!
Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: asparagus, couscous, lemon, salad, snap peas, vegetarian
Servings: 8
Calories: 336 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Cups Uncooked Pearl Couscous (7.5 ounces)
  • ¾ pound Thin Asparagus Spears – trimmed & cut on bias*
  • 12 ounces Sugar Snap Peas – cut on bias
  • 1 large Shallot – finely diced
  • 4-5 Radishes – thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces Ricotta Salata – crumbled (you can substitute feta)
  • 1/3 Cup Chives - Sliced
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan – grated or shaved, or more to taste
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Mint Leaves - torn
  • Flakey Maldon Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper – to taste
Dressing:
  • 7 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil ,divided
  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 4 TBS Lemon Juice
  • 1 TBS Honey
  • 1 tsp Lemon Zest plus more for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook the couscous: Bring a large pot of salted water* to a boil. Season generously with salt. Add the couscous and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the couscous and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again, gently shaking the colander to remove excess water. Set aside.

  2. OPTIONAL - While the couscous is cooking and cooling, sauté the asparagus and snap peas*: Heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the sliced asparagus and snap peas. Season with salt and pepper. Quickly sauté, tossing constantly, until tender-crisp and bright in color, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside and allow to cool.

  3. Make the dressing: In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the remaining 6 tablespoons of the oil with the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey, lemon zest, ½ teaspoon salt and scant ¼ teaspoon pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.* Set aside

  4. Toss salad: Add the cooled couscous to the bowl of asparagus and snap peas. Toss to combine. Add in the shallots and sliced radishes. Drizzle with half of the dressing. Toss to well to combine. (If serving later, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate).

  5. To serve: Add the ricotta, chives and mint to the salad. Taste and adjust with more dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish with parmesan, lemon zest and drizzle with any remaining dressing if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  1. If you want to add more flavor to your couscous, cook it in unsalted vegetable or chicken broth instead of water! Or, you can use a mixture of broth and water!
  2. Quickly sautéing the sliced asparagus and snap peas is completely optional! This salad is really good raw!
  3. I recommend you also peel the stems of the asparagus after trimming if you are going to skip step 2 of the recipe and serve the asparagus raw.
  4. Make sure you add the vinaigrette to the couscous while the couscous is still warm!  Warm couscous will soak up all the flavor from the dressing while cold couscous will simply swim in the dressing.
  5. Always make sure you taste and adjust seasonings as you go!  This is especially true with the dressing. If you want a sweeter dressing, add more honey.  For a tarter dressing, add more lemon juice and/or zest.  If the dressing just tastes bland, add more salt and pepper. BUT, just remember, the dressing is one component of the couscous salad and will taste completely different once every element is tossed together!
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Couscous Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 336 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 109mg5%
Potassium 292mg8%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 1095IU22%
Vitamin C 33.2mg40%
Calcium 150mg15%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.