My commute is about 50 minutes each way, which isn’t the end of the world, but it isn’t great either. On the way home, I nearly always pick up both of my daughters at school and start thinking about dinner. Who am I kidding, I’ve been thinking about dinner all day.
I like to take my daughters grocery shopping with me. Some might think, “are you insane man? It would be so much faster to go alone!.” That is true, but they get really excited about what veggies look good, and what we can cook with them. My 3 year old saw the beautiful asparagus at Whole Foods the other day and said “papa, can we have that tonight?” How many times do you hear that from a three year old? Sure, I thought, and added it to the cart without really thinking through what I would do with it. Fast forward a few hours, and inevitably, I have not left enough time to make dinner, get everyone through the night time routine, and to bed at a reasonable hour. What to make, well, how about this couscous? It’s in the pantry, couscous takes five minutes to cook, and I can throw a bunch of other stuff in and make it awesome. Toss together some simple ingredients, and this becomes a great warm weather weeknight meal, or an awesome side to bring to a cookout.
If you’ve got kids and they are reluctant to try couscous because it looks weird, try a little rebranding. We told my girls it was noodle balls and they have loved it ever since.
Asparagus pro tip: if you are going to buy some asparagus at the grocery store, and it isn’t standing upright in water, it’s probably not the greatest asparagus. You can still eat it, but its not going to be amazing. Also, if you get really fat stalks, you can run a veggie peeler over the fattest part of the stalks so things cook evenly. I never do this because I am lazy though.
We have had a ton of rain lately, and all of the herbs nestled in the flowerbeds are doing really well. I ended up with mint, thyme, oregano, and chives. The basil wasn’t quite ready yet. When I went out to snip my chives with my girls, we found the beautiful, lavender chive blossoms in full splendor. I figured throwing them on top couldn’t hurt. You probably don’t want to eat the blossoms though. Herb snipping has become the absolute best cooking task for them. I send them out to pick whatever herbs I need, and they will inevitably come back with way too much, and probably the wrong herb, but it will take 10 solid minutes, which lets me finish up the meal a lot more quickly.
To make this dish, you also need to throw together a recipe of grilled asparagus with garlic. It won’t take long, I promise.
15 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
25 minTotal Time
- One recipe grilled asparagus with garlic (Recipe here: https://wp.me/p9XQzL-z7)
- One cup couscous
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh herbs (I used chives, mint, thyme, oregano)
- Salt to taste
- Fresh pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 oz shaved pecorino Romano or Parmesan
- 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
- First, prepare grillled asparagus with garlic. Cook couscous according to package directions. Usually, that means equal parts couscous and water, salt to taste and a tablespoon of olive oil. Bring the water to a boil, stream in couscous while mixing, turn off the heat and cover for about five minutes. While the couscous is resting, you can throw together the rest of the dish.
- Chop grilled asparagus into 2” pieces. Roughly chop all of the herbs. Reserve 2 tbsp herbs for garnish. Mix all ingredients together in a serving bowl. Top with remaining herbs (and flowers if you have any).