Spring is finally here, and why not welcome it in with a light but fulfilling dish of spring greens and vegetables with a gorgeous avocado pesto? Exactly, we couldn’t find a reason not to either! Served at room temperature like a pasta salad this dish is just an easy-eating beauty that is a breeze to prepare. This Avocado Pesto Couscous with Spring Greens is a very green and vibrant dish that is packed with flavor, and we think these combinations are great for spring.
What’s in this dish?
Since the Green Goddess Salad trend is very popular lately, we wanted to explore a heartier dish that we would love to eat, especially one that is packed with flavor along with all the beautiful spring greens that are in season!
We begin this dish with Isreali couscous as the base. The couscous with the avocado pesto really adds breadth to the dish leaving you full and happy without feeling heavy or cloying. The addition of feta cheese and lemon juice bring a tangy, acidic balance to brighten everything up and the arugula adds a little leafy spiciness to the mix.
The vegetables are a great addition, adding both flavor and texture. The peas end up being about the same size and shape as the couscous, so the mouthfeel is tremendous when you bite into some couscous mixed with peas.
This is a great variation on a basil pesto that we know you will love. Also, it can be used in so many other ways beyond this couscous dish. We love using it as a dip, spreading it on toast for a fresh morning bite, or adding it to other pasta dishes.
The pesto is prepared last because avocados like to lose their beautiful green color faster than most fruits and vegetables. There is no reason to let avocado pesto sit around and slowly turn brown while you prepare the rest of the ingredients! And it is so quick to prepare, that you won’t think twice about this final step.
Our Go-To Cookware and Cutlery
We make this recipe using our Calphalon Premier™ Hard-Anodized Nonstick. The 10-inch fry pan is perfect for preparing the couscous then mixing all the ingredients together and serving straight from the pan. And since the superior nonstick layers make cleanup so much easier, you won’t have to worry about your food sticking to the pan. We use the 8 qt stock pot to blanch all of our vegetables since the size of this pot is large enough to ensure that all of our veggies are cooked evenly.
Additionally, we are loving our new Calphalon Classic™ Antimicrobial Self-Sharpening 15-Piece Cutlery Set with SilverShield® Knife Handles and we used the 8-inch Chef’s Knife to achieve precise cuts with all our spring greens and vegetables in this dish. This particular set features SilverShield® antimicrobial technology so we don’t have to worry about unwanted bacteria growing on the handles.
There are a couple of techniques worth a brief discussion here:
First, shocking the vegetables in ice water after blanching. Shocking does two things. The vegetables maintain their vibrant color when blanched and shocked. But most importantly, shocking stops the cooking process so that your vegetables maintain that nice crispness. If you cook asparagus to perfection and take it out of the water to sit on a cutting board, it will continue to cook with residual heat, leaving you with overcooked, soggy asparagus!
Second, cooking the couscous in butter before the introduction of the stock. This lets the couscous (a form of pasta) absorb a little fat and flavor and get a slight amount of light browning. In short, we are adding flavor to the dish with this technique, and we are always in favor of flavor.
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Avocado Pesto Couscous with Spring Greens! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out!
- Goat Cheese, Spinach, Basil and Prosciutto Quiche
- Hearty Vegetable Pasta Soup
- Spiced Carrot Ginger and Fennel Soup
- Mushroom Ragù with Parmesan Polenta
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