Happy spring/summer/whatever season your city has delved into. Because little Omaha has skipped right over spring time. Its all summer, shorts, and sweat. Literally you will perspire within thirty minutes of being outdoors. But this aside, I’m keeping super cool with this cold couscous and asparagus salad. So Follow me to the Farmer’s Market Salad with this colorful mix of this season’s harvest.
I am most definitely not complaining about the warm weather though. It was long overdue for Omaha. But I’m not just gonna sit here and talk about the weather because spring brings along the most wonderful time of the year. FARMER’S. MARKET. SEASON.
Im in love with the Farmer’s Market and I am so blessed that Omaha has so many to offer. The Spring calendar is studded with market dates and events. Some of my favorites are the Old Market Farmers Market (Saturday), Aksarben Farmer’s Market (Sunday), and the Rockbrook Organic Market (Tuesday evening).
I dream of one day moving to a little city maybe in France or Spain, waking up leisurely on a weekend, stopping at the neighborhood market and eating off that produce throughout the week. Its a romantic dream that I may have to wait for my next life for, but regardless I yearn for that type of life.
Spring harvest has so much to offer that I wanted to feature some of my market must-haves in this post. So I invite you to join me in making this wonderfully balanced and delightful Farmer’s Market Salad.
What So Great About This Farmer’s Market Salad?
Thanks for asking, your unsolicited answer is fresh produce. I scoured the market one day for the brightest and freshest produce I could load up this salad with and went from there. I started at a booth that is killing it in the nut game with Twin Springs Pecans.
They make AMAZING pecans. They are buttery and slightly mapley in their raw state and are this beautiful pale brown. I 10/10 recommend everyone to snatch up a bag of these nuts. They are truly one of a kind.
Next I knew I wanted something green. Fresh asparagus seemed to be a trend at each stall so I went that route. I found the fattest and most irregular spears because I knew they were the most natural.
Now I wanted some pop of color. The brightest I could find was some pink radishes. They caught my eye and I knew they’d not only be a tasty but, but would complement the salad and picture like a champ. Which it did if I do say so myself.
My final stop was some greens. I ended up with a nice spring mix with micro greens and spicy arugula. With this arsenal of produce and my under boob sweat staining my shirt, I headed home.
I stopped at my grocery to pick up the rest of the ingredients and started assembling. I built the base up with the greens and plopped on some generous spoonfuls of couscous. Then I studded the surface with pecans and peas, added more greens and started the process all over again. The top is where you can get artsy. I layered and pieced it together until I had a pretty mix of produce peaking out and teasing the appetites of whoever caught its eye.
One thing I wanna throw out as a little tip is to make your salad as sexy as possible. Make it look like they want to tear into it and get up in there. I guarantee the better the food looks, the more attention you’ll catch at your get together. Even a meat eater couldn’t not double take on this salad.
My final step was to figure out a dressing that wouldn’t overtake the buttery pecans, spicy arugula, and sweet berries. Lemon was the decided flavor I wanted to highlight. I juiced my lemons and mixed them with a shallot, avocado oil, dijon, salt, and herbs. I opted for rosemary, thyme, and basil. But do you!
I also added a little sprinkle of turmeric to make the yellow color pop. But it may have turned out looking more like pee so maybe don’t do that.
This salad surely impressed at our Memorial Day celebration. I hope it inspires you to take advantage of each seasons harvest because literally anything can be a salad. I hope that doesn’t make me sound annoyingly vegan.
Strawberry Asparagus Couscous Salad
makes: 4-6 servings
- 1 1/2 c couscous, prepared and cooled
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 c green peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 c toasted pecans
- 1 1/2 c sliced strawberries
- 6 c mixed greens
- 1/4 c lemon juice
- 1/2 c avocado oil
- 1 small shallot
- 1 t dijon mistard
- pinch of turmeric
- 2 t of mixed fresh herbs
- 1/2 t salt
- pinch of black pepper
- Start with the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a food processor and blending until smoothish.
- Trim your asparagus and slice it into two inch spears. Steam theme for about 10 minutes our until tender.
- Place a bed of greens into the serving bowl and layer your ingredients. Make the top really pretty and garnish with fresh herb springs.
- Pour the dressing around the perimeter of the bowl to let it seep into the greens. Toss and add more as desired.