Friday, June 3, 2011

Asparagus Couscous with Chickpeas and Almonds

This delicious vegan dish is a creation of Sarah, a CSA shareholder from Wyomissing, PA.

Asparagus Couscous with Chickpeas and Almonds
Serves 4

1 cup large couscous (kuskus)
2 to 3 cups vegetable bouillon
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) (8 ounces)
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1 ounce almond slivers (alternatively pistachio)
1 to 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
½ cup raisins
2 sprigs fresh mint
1 cup soy yogurt
½ teaspoon cumin and sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Clean the asparagus and slice the hard, woody stems off. Slice into bites-sized pieces.
2. Cook the couscous in a large pot with 2 cups of vegetable bouillon. As the couscous cooks down, you may need to add a third cup until the couscous is cooked.
3. Drain the can of chickpeas and add to the couscous. Also add raisins at this time.
4. When the liquid has cooked off, remove from the heat, add the sambal oelek and place a lid on the pot. The couscous will continue to swell.
5. Meanwhile, bring a pan of lightly salted water to boil, add the asparagus pieces ad cook until al dente.
6. Prepare the soy yogurt sauce by placing the soy yogurt in a blender and removing the leaves from the mint sprigs. Add to the soy yogurt, along with the lemon juice a pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of sweet Hungarian paprika. Blend to a smooth consistency. Taste and season according to preference.
7. Shortly before serving, add the asparagus pieces to the couscous.
8. Sprinkle the almond or pistachio pieces on top. Serve warm with the dressing on the side, or cold as a salad and optional dressing on top.

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