Asparagus + Tomato Basil Couscous

Asparagus Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

I can always tell when there’s a new season approaching when I’m doing my weekly shopping at Target. Right now it’s OUTDOOR BBQ, get your ice buckets, garden lighting, stock up on sunscreen!!! season and it’s one of my favorite times of year. I love the promise of longer days and eating outside by candlelight (albeit citronella!)  I also LOVE seeing what the color trend is for the year and picking out a new table cloth & a few new dishware items for outdoor parties. It’s a ritual I have and it means that soon life will slow down a bit.  People take it a bit easier during summer. Life gets simpler and so does the food.

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

When it’s time to start eating outside, my brain shifts gears. I think of easy yet satisfying dishes that can be thrown together instantly.  I always gravitate towards dishes that include some type of vegetable and the use of an outdoor grill!

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

I teamed up with Archer Farms (only found at Target!) to come up with a simple recipe (using one of their products) that will help you kick off the BBQ season. This Asparagus Tomato Basil Couscous uses Archer Farms Roasted Garlic & Olive Couscous. I grilled asparagus, pulled fresh basil from my patio, added toasted pine nuts, tomatoes & fresh mozzarella. This couscous is finished with a hefty squeeze of lemon juice to really wake up the asparagus.  The fact that the couscous already has some simple seasoning helps cut down on the ingredients list. And that’s exactly what we need when we just wanna chill out & relax outside. Am I right?

And we’re off!

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Here’s the Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Whole Wheat Couscous I used.

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

I actually brought my electric tea kettle outside and made this WHOLE dish outdoors. I just covered the couscous with a tea cloth & set it aside for 15 minutes to fluff up in the measuring cup I mixed it in.

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil. Season with salt & pepper and throw them on the grill!

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean


Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Once grilled, cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces. You could totally roast asparagus in the oven if you’re without a grill/grill pan. It will be just as good!

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Now we get ready to assemble the couscous. Look! I’m doing this all outside!

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Put the asparagus in a bowl with the couscous, pine nuts & basil. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil on top.

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Next you stir in the tomatoes and gently fold in the fresh mozzarella. You could sub feta in if you want!

Zucchini would be another great vegetable to use.

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Squeeze about a half of a lemon into the mix. STIR STIR STIR.

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Dinner is SERVED.

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Casey took out a nice bottle of wine for the occasion…

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Here’s a closeup on the couscous. It’s like a salad & carb side all in one. Summer is all about shortcuts!

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Hope you love eating outside as much as I do.

Asparagus+ Tomato Basil Couscous // shutterbean

Just watch out for bugs!


Brought to you by Archer Farms only at Target.

Asparagus Tomato Basil Couscous

serves 4

  • 1 package Archer Farms Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Cook couscous according to instructions on package. Set aside.

Preheat grill/grill pan to medium-high heat. Drizzle asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with salt & pepper. Grill 3-4 minutes per side, until charred & slightly tender (you still want a nice bite to it). Transfer asparagus to a cutting board and chop into small pieces. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss cooked couscous with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir in pine nuts, tomatoes and asparagus. Gently stir in mozzarella, & basil and squeeze lemon juice on top to finish off the dish. Season with salt & pepper and serve cold or at room temperature.

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  • Jessica

    Oh wow! So summery! I cannot wait to add asparagus to couscous! The British asparagus season is kicking off now…which I get verrrry excited about! What did you eat with it? I’m getting pieces of red onion and a leafy herbiness!!! NOM.

  • Lori H

    This looks so scrumptious! Thanks for sharing.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Mmm this sounds like such a great, quick, dinner!

  • Tieghan

    BBQ season rules and so does this couscous!! Asparagus, tomatoes and mozzarella and basil! Some of my favorite summer flavors!

  • Reynaul

    This looks so yummy! I have asparagus coming in my produce box today, perfect timing! Found your blog thru Joy the Baker, so glad I found you, great blog!

  • Ruthy @ omeletta

    I can’t wait! I’m very much looking forward to some lazy summer days. Couscous is one of my fave side dishes, in almost any capacity.

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    Mmmm, I want to dunk my face into this. So summery!

  • Jenni

    This looks delicious! But – I live in Germany and alas, no Target. Any tips on making getting regular couscous to be the right level of roasted garlic and olive oil-ness?

    • Tracy

      Sad face! You could always sauté a little bit of garlic in olive oil and stir it into your couscous.

  • Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen

    Asparagus, tomatoes, cheese, and couscous are my top favorite foods! Awesome.

  • Emily

    This sounds delicious, and perfect for summer! Love the photography on this one!

  • Angela

    Looks so good. I love couscous. You’ve given me some new ideas. So glad I found your blog. Cute sandals!

  • Cait

    Do you have a recipe to share for whatever is on those meatballs you grilled as well? Looks delish. Next on my list is to get a grill for my condo balcony!

  • Katie

    Couscous for a barbecue…love it…and the Target brand is a good one.

  • Julie @ Forbidden Rice Blog

    Yum! I love the spring flavors here… I’m always hoping to find good couscous recipes. How’d this go over with Cooper? We’ve got a 7 year old who’s often into trying new foods… but a little hesitant about the little fluffy balls that are couscous, hehe.

    • Tracy

      He’s not a fan of couscous! It’s a texture thing for him. He’s more of a rice guy.

  • Claire

    This looks dreamy. I know what I’m making this weekend. Thank you Tracy Shutterbean!

  • Shana

    We just got Target in Canada and it was the happiest day! I love couscous – so quick and easy – I know what I’ll be making this weekend!

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  • Gaby

    I can’t believe I’ve never had Archer Farms products before. I feel like I’ve been seriously missing out on life. Heading to Target this weekend to stock up because this seriously looks like the perfect spring or summer meal!!

  • Katy @ Katy's Kitchen

    Yum, this dish is so you and I love that you can make it all outside! It would sure be perfect for entertaining because you wouldn’t have to worry about being holed up in the kitchen. So colourful, I love it!

  • Ryann Rugg

    Looks so good, but what kebob did you make to go with it? It looks glorious and would love to make the entire dinner!

    • Tracy

      It was a chicken herbed meatball kebab. I’ll try to post the recipe soon!

  • Renae

    Tracy, your tablecloth is gorgeous – can you tell me where it’s from?

  • Amy

    I love your recipes.

    Definitely has given me inspiration for what to make for dinner now!!

  • Libby

    Oh my gosh. I tried this.
    I live in a really small town and we don’t have a Target (and apparently we don’t have couscous either but I KNOW I’ve bought some before…). So I used quinoa. And I don’t have a grill. So I roasted the asparagus with garlic (and it got kind of an ugly greyish color). And I live in Kansas so the cherry tomatoes were not bright red–they were sickly in color. And there’s no fresh basil in the grocery stores, so I used dried. And there’s no fresh mozzarella in the grocery stores, so I used a block and chopped it up.
    So, other than EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT, I made it exactly the same way as you. 😛

    I was hugely disappointed. But everyone else at the bbq (people who didn’t know how lovely and vibrant and gorge I wanted it to be) totally, totally raved about it. So, good job!! And thanks for the recipe!!

  • Dayna @kaleidoscopebrain

    This sounds so amazing and refreshing tracey! I’m totally going to make it!

  • Lisa | With Style and Grace

    yes, outdoor dining really is the best!!

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  • Millie

    Looks amazing!
    I just made my own couscous salad on my blog! Would love it if anyone checked it out! :)

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