Spring Couscous with Asparagus and Mandarin Oranges

  • Yield 4 servings

The combination of crisp green asparagus tips, peas and comforting couscous makes a wonderful entree or room-temperature salad.

If desired, add 1 pound diced tofu, cooked shrimp or chicken to the couscous.

Ingredients

1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
3 teaspoons pure olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons grated ginger root
1 cup couscous
16 to 18 asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 (15-ounce) can Mandarin oranges, drained
4 scallions, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup toasted* walnuts

Instructions

  1. In a nonreactive saucepan, bring orange juice, water, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and gingerroot to a boil over high heat. Place couscous in a large nonreactive bowl and pour orange juice mixture over. Cover tightly and allow to stand 20 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet and saute the asparagus 2 minutes. Add the red peppers and peas; saute 1 minute. Add to the couscous along with the oranges, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper and nuts; combine well. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*To toast walnuts: Place in a single layer in a baking dish and toast in a 350-degree oven about 10 minutes or until golden.

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