Everything you love about this time of year. Since I am the lucky owner of an herb bed, I can go outside and snatch great handfuls of parsley and chives and I use them with reckless abandon after the long winter. And asparagus because....you know, asparagus. The acidity from the chopped capers and the lemon juice helps brighten up the dish, but this is a mildly flavored dish - let the herbs and asparagus be the stars. This recipe can easily be made vegan by replacing the chicken broth with veggie broth and omitting the shredded chicken - the beans can carry it. —Niknud
large pearl couscous
juice from 1/4 lemon
cooked chicken, shredded
juice from 1/2 lemon
can of great northern beans, drained and rinsed
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium pot and add the couscous. Reduce to as low as your stove will go, cover and cook for ~10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside
While the couscous is cooking, preheat the oven to 475. Snap the woody bottoms off the asparagus and drizzle with olive oil, juice from 1/4 lemon and season with salt and pepper. Cook in a rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes or until nicely browned and delicious looking - rotating the sheet and tossing half way through. Chop cooked asparagus into bite-sized pieces
Transfer the couscous to your serving bowl. Add parsley, chives, capers, remaining lemon juice, asparagus, chicken and great northern beans. Drizzle with a goodly amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more of anything that suits you - more lemon juice or capers if it seems to need a bit more oomph and so on.
This dish is absolutely delicious at room temperature and can be made ahead of time if you need it for the next day. It's great to take to a picnic and can hold up to sitting on a buffet for a good amount of time.
Full-time working wife and mother of two small boys whose obsessive need to cook delicious food is threatening to take over what little free time I have. I grew up in a family of serious cookers but didn't learn to cook myself until I got married and got out of the military and discovered the joys of micro-graters, ethiopian food, immersion blenders and watching my husband roll around on the floor after four servings of pulled pork tamales (with real lard!) complaining that he's so full he can't feel his legs. Trying to graduate from novice cooker to ranked amateur. The days of 'the biscuit incident of aught five' as my husband refers to it are long past but I still haven't tried my hand at paella so I'm a work in progress!