Portion/Yield:Makes 8 – 10 portions
When garden or chopped salads are listed on menus the words are vague enough to mean anything. I usually do not trust this unless I know the chef well enough to trust that the salad will be special and include really top ingredients and the seasons best.
I have a passion for making tasty and good-looking salads. When I make a salad it should have plenty of ingredients that makes it worthy of being on my plate. Now to address the issue of the word “garden salad”, in the context of this particular recipe I want it to be seasonal and packed with goodies from the garden reflecting spring.
The pearled couscous also know as Israeli couscous is also a lovely addition as it does help to give the salad body and substance. This salad is perfect to be served with grilled meats or fish, or as a side to a simple quince.
Ingredients & Method
- 150g Israeli Couscous Course
- 1tsp turmeric
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 2tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 100g broad beans
- 50g spring onions
- 100g garden peas and the tops
- 1 bunch of English asparagus, stalks and spears
- 1 bulb of fennel
- 2tbs chopped fresh oregano
- Pinch of sumac
- 2 breakfast radishes
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil; add the Israeli couscous and the turmeric. Cook the couscous like pasta until al-dente. Refresh the couscous under cold running water and drain well. In a small bowl mix the juice and zest of the lemon, olive oil and seasoning to form vinaigrette, pour the vinaigrette over the drained couscous.
Blanch the broad bean, refresh and remove their thick light green jackets. Blanch the garden peas to al-dente and refresh.
Prepare the asparagus by cutting the tips from the stalks. Cut the stalks in thin rounds and blanch both eh stalks and tips, refresh.
Separate the leafy tufts from the fennel chop and add to the salad. Use a mandolin to finely slice the fennel. Chop the spring onions on an angle.
Add all the ingredients to the couscous and gently mix.
Garnish the salad with the finely sliced breakfast radishes and pea tops.
I’m pretty fanatical about using as much of the produce as possible. For that reason I even used the pea tops from the pea plants, they truly taste of peas and look pretty too. When it comes to the asparagus I used as much of the stalk as possible however the very small bit from the bottom about 2 cm is very hard and not recommended to use. Remember this salad should be changed to suit what’s available to you and change it as the season progresses.