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Recipe: Summer vegetable couscous with chickpeas and avocado

June 28, 2018
Summer vegetable couscous with chickpeas and avocado from Whoa Nelly Catering

Kay, so we’re pretty set on hosting ALL the summer parties this season. And if we know one secret, it’s keeping a solid no-fail recipe in your back pocket for those spontaneous gatherings. We asked Beth of Whoa Nelly to share her recipe for this delicious veg-full salad from our garden party shoot with Parachute Home’s new linen collection because let’s be honest… we want to recreate that situation every week from now until September.

Summer vegetable couscous with chickpeas, squash, and avocado
(makes about 6 cups)

1 cup toasted israeli cous cous
1.5 cups diced summer squash, preferably mix of varieties, cut into 3/4” dice
1 bunch asparagus, tough stems removed, sliced on the bias into 3/4 inch long pieces
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced vertically
1 cup snap peas, string removed and cut on the bias into 4 pieces per snap pea
2 tbsp-1/4 cup olive oil for cooking
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup cooked chickpeas, drained of liquid
1 avocado, diced and seasoned with lemon and salt
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf italian parsley
lemon to taste

Cook the cous cous according to package directions. If the cous cous is not toasted when purchased, heat a medium sauce pot, add 2 tsp olive oil and the cous cous, and lightly toast, stirring often, until about half of the grains are a light brown. At this point, you can add boiling water to the pot and cook as directed. Drain well, then spread onto a cookie sheet to cool, and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking to itself.

Cook the vegetables: Heat a large nonstick or stainless steel skillet over high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the pan. When the oil shimmers and slides around the pan easily, add the summer squash, asparagus, red onion, thyme leaves, and season with a generous couple of pinches of salt. Sauté the vegetables for a minute, then add the snap peas and another generous pinch of salt. Add more olive oil if the pan looks at all dry. Cook vegetables until they are crisp-tender, and taste for seasoning (squash takes a lot of salt!). Finish with freshly ground pepper.

Mix the cooked vegetables, drained chickpeas, and the cooked cous cous together. Season to taste with lemon, salt and pepper. You can make this mix up to 2 days ahead of time.

Just before serving, add the chopped parsley and diced avocado and mix gently. If pulling the mix from the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature for an hour or so before serving.

Photo by Scott Clark Photo / Recipe by Whoa Nelly