Shaved Asparagus and Couscous Tangle

26 May

lounging around

Guess what?  Asparagus is still in season.  In our house we’ve had it roasted, steamed, sauteed, every which way.  How about raw, you ask?  Yes, we do that too.  Now I fully admit that picking up an asparagus spear and sinking your teeth into it might not sound like the most enticing thing.  That’s why we shave it.

Shaving asparagus is kind of therapeutic.  You take each spear, one by one, and run your vegetable peeler along it to create super thin asparagus noodles.  It’s fun.  You should try it.  They will have just as much folate and potassium, in fact maybe even more nutritional value because you’re not cooking any of it out.  In the end you have a pile of asparagus ribbons that are just begging to tangle with some other vegetables, fruits, and grains.  Let’s indulge them.

Corn - check!

There’s that sweet corn again.  Also excellent raw, with its sweet pop-in-your-mouth kernels.  You can easily cut the kernels off the cob by placing a small bowl upside down inside a larger bowl.  Stand the corn cob on top of the bottom of the smaller bowl, and run your knife down the cob, all around it, to remove every last kernel.   They will fall into the larger bowl and you’ll save yourself a mess.


Tomato - check!

If tomatoes are available in your neck of the woods, please grab one and add it to this tangle.  (And no, tangle is not a technical term, it is what I decided to call this dish for reasons that will become obvious when you see the finished product below).  Let’s power up the antioxidant value of this dish, yes?  Chop up a tomato and throw it in.

After we add some citrus and herb action, we can serve this cool veggie-fruit conglomerate over warm Israeli couscous.  Sounds good, right?  It really is.  It’s a refreshing blend of flavors, textures, and temperatures.  It makes a fabulous light dinner.

Shaved Asparagus and Couscous Tangle (serves 2)

the tangled web we wove


  • small bunch asparagus, about 10 spears
  • kernels from 1 corn cob (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt, plus a pinch later on
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup (uncooked) whole grain Israeli couscous
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling


1.  Shave the asparagus into thin ribbons using a vegetable peeler.  Place the asparagus ribbons, corn kernels, and tomato in a medium bowl.  Drizzle with the lime juice, salt, and parsley.  Toss everything to combine.  Set aside.

2.  Let the asparagus et. al. mingle together while you cook the couscous.  Bring a scant 3/4 cup water to a boil, then add the couscous and a pinch of salt.  Reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot.  Let simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender.

3.  Divide the couscous between two shallow bowls and top with a heaping pile of the asparagus, corn, and tomato mixture.  Serve while the couscous is still warm, drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil on top.


5 Responses to “Shaved Asparagus and Couscous Tangle”

  1. Ruth May 26, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    Thanks, Laura. I’m on my way to the store for the couscous. We have fresh asparagus in the garden. I needed this lovely dish for tonight’s light dinner. Sounds fabulous.

    • Laura May 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

      I hope you enjoy it, Ruth!

  2. Linda Williams May 26, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    That is, indeed, a tangle – and the nicest possible kind. I have never heard of “shaved” asparagus before and can’t wait to try this method.

  3. Kelly May 26, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    This sounds really yummy – and I like the use of whole grain couscous (I take it that’s whole wheat – have not been able to find other whole grains in couscous).

    Love the name of your blog!

    • Laura May 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

      thanks, Kelly! and yes, it is whole wheat.

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