This is a great side dish for summer. The citrus undertone works well with the veggies and sharp flavors of the cheese.
• 1 cup plain dried quick-cooking couscous
• 12 ounces asparagus, tough ends removed
• Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved.
• Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons (2 tablespoons zest and about ½ cup juice)
• 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Fresh grated parmesan cheese
Prepare the couscous according to package directions. Transfer to a bowl.
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Bring a shallow pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 4-6 minutes, until just tender. Transfer the asparagus to the ice water; cool for 5 minutes. Remove and dry the spears; then cut into ½ inch lengths.
Add the following to the couscous: asparagus, tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, 2 tablespoons of the oil, salt and pepper to taste; toss to combine. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the couscous seems dry, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Garnish with parmesan cheese.
Serve immediately. (This is best served right after it is made; otherwise the lemon juice will discolor the asparagus.)