Spring Pea Shoot And Couscous Salad With Feta_11zon
Lunches, Salads

Easy Springtime Pea Shoot And Couscous Salad With Feta

Cooks in 15 Minutes Difficulty Easy 0 comments

Welcome the freshness of spring with our Pea Shoot and Couscous Salad with Feta! This recipe was inspired by the vibrant colors and flavors of spring, and we hope it brings a taste of the season to your table. Enjoy the lightness of pea shoots and fluffy couscous dressed in a tangy lemon vinaigrette for an easy dinner idea. It’s a great recipe to which you can simply add your favorite protein for a complete meal!

Finding microgreens in Northern Ontario can take a lot of work. Still, I recently discovered a whole selection section at the local Metro grocery chain. The spring pea shoots microgreen in this tasty spring salad are reminiscent of eating the snow pea pods in flavor. Yet lighter without the crunch, they add a pleasant leafy green to this side salad. 

I have seen many food bloggers using pearl couscous, which isn’t the easiest to source in my community. But I was determined to find it because I had a vision of the perfect salad in my mind. I was stoked when I found it at the local Food Basics grocery store. I could now combine them into the salad I had been visualizing. And let me tell you, it’s pretty darn tasty. 

For more great salad recipes, be sure to subscribe!

What you will love about this fresh salad.

Preparing this salad is a breeze. With just a handful of ingredients, you can easily whip up this salad ahead of time. Simply chill it for a few hours to allow the flavors to fully develop. 

Salty feta. The cheese complements the lemon dressing and the earthy flavor of the pea shoots. Bringing the whole salad together. 

It’s versatile. You can add other leafy greens or fresh herbs to boost the nutritional value of your meal. And if you can’t find pea shoots, don’t worry! Try using another microgreen or even fresh green peas. The possibilities are endless, and you’re in control of creating a salad that suits your taste. 

Let’s make a simple side salad.

You will be adding all of the fresh vegetables to a large bowl. First, rinse and dry the pea shoots. I should note here that due to their delicate nature, you may wish to add them just before serving if you are making this very far ahead of dinner time. They do wilt in the salad by the next day but are still full-bodied in flavor. 

Next rinse your cherry tomatoes which we will be leaving whole for this salad. Next, you want to deseed and rinse the red bell pepper. We first cut it into strips and then bite-sized pieces. Following that, we are adding a thinly sliced baby cucumber. Use a mandolin if you have one to make very thin, even slices. The delicate nature of the pearl couscous and the pea shoots demands smaller pieces. The only large pieces are actually the whole cherry tomatoes. If you want, you can cut it in half. 

After adding the bell pepper to the bowl, you can peel and dice the sweet onion very finely. I chose to dice it finely because it offers a milder flavor than biting into a larger piece. That way, it brings all the flavor of the onion without being overpowering. 

Once you’ve added that to the bowl, add the cooked, cooled couscous. You will need to prep the couscous beforehand. Follow the package directions and cooking time, which usually takes about 12-15 minutes. I used the Life Smart White Pearl Couscous, a great low-fat option. Once cooked, add three tablespoons of olive oil and toss it to keep it from sticking together while it cools. Then, allow it to fully cool. I cooled it on the counter and then in the fridge, stirring once or twice to speed the process by releasing the trapped steam and heat. 

Add the chilled couscous to the salad, and then add the lemon vinaigrette. The vinaigrette dressing is a simple blend of lemon juice that’s been freshly squeezed, olive oil, pepper, and salt. This dressing adds a refreshing tang to the salad, balancing the earthy flavors of the pea shoots and the chewiness of the couscous. Now, the fun part is tossing that beautiful spring salad and watching the couscous blend in with all the lovely fresh ingredients. 

Lastly, cover the salad bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill completely. This will allow the lemon vinaigrette to meld its flavor into the simple salad. The salad can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days, but it’s best enjoyed fresh. 

Serve the salad straight from the fridge as an easy dinner or lunch idea with roasted chicken breast or lean protein. It’s sure to become one of your favorite spring dinner ideas. 

If you like spring flavors, try one of our other delicious recipes, such as our Watercress Salad

Ingredients.

Pea Shoot Microgreens: These delicate greens offer a fresh, slightly sweet flavor and a crunchy texture to the salad, adding a vibrant touch of green and a nutritional boost.

White Pearl Couscous: This small, round pasta adds a hearty base to the salad, satisfying chewiness and absorbing the flavors of the other ingredients, creating a wholesome pasta salad.

​Cherry Tomato: Bursting with juicy sweetness, cherry tomatoes bring a pop of color and refreshing acidity to the salad.

​Baby Cucumber: Crisp and refreshing baby cucumbers add a fantastic crunch to the salad. At the same time, their mild flavor complements the other ingredients.

​Sweet Onion: This offers a subtle yet aromatic flavor to the salad.

​Red Bell Pepper: With its vibrant color and crisp texture, red bell pepper adds a sweet, slightly tangy flavor to the salad.

​Feta Cheese: Creamy and tangy, feta cheese adds a rich and salty element to the salad, balancing the fresh and crisp components.

​Fresh Lemon Juice:  A few squeezes of fresh lemon juice brighten up the flavors of the salad, adding a zesty, citrusy tang.

​Olive Oil: This ingredient adds luscious richness and subtle fruity flavor while helping to marry the flavors of the ingredients. We have also used extra oil to keep the couscous from sticking together during the cooling process.

​Black Pepper: Ground black pepper adds a very subtle heat and aromatic depth to the salad.

​Salt: A pinch of salt will enhance the flavors of the salad ingredients, bringing out their natural taste while balancing the sweetness and acidity.

Substitutions and Add-Ins For the Side Dish:

Pea Shoot Microgreens: While these offer a great springtime feel to the salad, you can use any other microgreen. Or try using a baby spinach leaf, which also has a delicate flavor, to bring a burst of freshness. Alternatively, use fresh green peas in place of the pea shoots. 

White Pearl Couscous: This is a very small, round pasta shape that can be replaced with another small pasta shape if you can’t source the couscous. Try using Acini di pepe or orzo in place of the couscous. 

Cherry Tomatoes: These tasty little gems can easily be substituted with diced tomatoes for a more cost-effective salad. For a unique twist, sliced strawberries can add a touch of color and sweeteness to your salad, creating a refreshing contrast to the other ingredients.

​Baby Cucumber: Regular English cucumber cut up fine would also work in the salad.

Sweet Onion: This milder onion is hard to replicate. However, you can substitute Vidalia onions or shallots. Keep in mind that you may want to adjust the quantity used. If you want a more zesty onion flavor, consider using spring onions.

​Red Peppers: They can be easily switched with their close relatives, like the sweet orange or yellow bell pepper.

Feta Cheese: Instead of purchasing the brick of cheese and cubing it yourself, some herbed cubed varieties may also do well in the salad. Alternatively, crumbling a cup of feta cheese would also work.

​Fresh Lemon Juice: This may be replaced with either ReaLemon shelf-stable lemon juice or another citrus juice altogether.

Olive Oil: This oil can be replaced with a light neutral oil such as avocado, canola, or sunflower.

​Black Pepper: This powder spice can be replaced with white pepper or a mixture of black and white.

​Salt: This can be omitted from the dressing if you follow a low-sodium diet.

Add-In Suggestions: Fresh mint would offer a new, unique flavor twist to the spring salad. Finely sliced red radish or fresh basil would add a peppery kick. If you like a sweeter salad, a drizzle of honey over it will also provide a bit of flavor complexity. Another add-in that would give the salad a more Mediterranean flair would be kalamata olives. 

Expert Tips, Serving And Storing Suggestions:

Tip #1: Cook and chill the couscous. It’s imperative that it be fully cooled before adding it to the other salad ingredients, as it will wilt the pea shoots. 

Tip #2: Add pea shoots later. If you are making ahead for the next day, add the pea shoots before serving to avoid them wilting.

Tip #3: Garnish with flair: Elevate the presentation of your spring salad by garnishing it with a final flourish. Consider adding fresh herbs, edible flowers, or citrus zest to the salad to add color, flavor, and visual interest.

This spring salad is best enjoyed as a light lunch or refreshing meal during warm weather gatherings and picnics or as a wholesome lunch option on sunny days. To elevate the dish further, offer a variety of protein choices on the side, such as grilled chicken breast, seared salmon fillets, or marinated tofu.

This salad is best served fresh on the day off to prevent the pea shoots from wilting. However, if stored in an airtight container, it will still be good in the fridge for 2-3 days. 

Join the conversation and let us know how your spring salad turned out! Whether you added your unique twist or followed the recipe to a tee, we’d love to hear about your experience. Share your thoughts, tips, and any delicious variations in the comments below the recipe card. Your feedback helps us create more flavorful recipes for you to enjoy!

Spring Pea Shoot And Couscous Salad With Feta (1)_11zon

Easy Springtime Pea Shoot And Couscous Salad With Feta

Amber Bondar
This easy springtime salad is a delicious blend of pea shoots and pearl couscous with cubed feta cheese. Tossed in a fresh lemon vinaigrette dressing with crisp cucumbers and cherry tomatoes its a delicious salad that goes great with any meat entree.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Canadian, Mediterranean
Servings 8

Equipment

  • 1 Large Saucepan
  • 1 Large Salad Bowl
  • knife
  • measuring cup
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon

Ingredients
  

The Pea Shoot And Couscous Salad

  • 3 Cups Pearl Couscous Cooked and Cooled
  • 2 Cups Pea Shoot Microgreens GoodLeaf Pea Shoot | Metro
  • 1 Cup Mini Cucumber Sliced Thin
  • 2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • 8 oz Cubed Feta Cheese
  • ½ Lrg Sweet Onion Diced Fine
  • 1 Med Red Pepper Diced

The Lemon Vinaigrette

  • ¼ Cup Lemon Juice Freshly Squeezed – 2 Lemons
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil Extra Virgin
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • ¼ Tsp Salt

Instructions
 

Making The Couscous

  • Follow the directions on the package of pearl couscous to make 3 cups of pearls.
  • Add three tablespoons olive oil to the couscous to prevent it from sticking.
  • Let the couscous cool before adding the salad. (It will wilt the microgreens otherwise)
  • Once cooled put in the fridge to chill completely.

The Salad Ingredients

  • Wash, rinse, dry the pea shoots. Gently soak excess water up with a paper towel.
  • Using mandolin slicer slice the cucumber thinly.
  • Wash the cherry tomatoes leave whole.
  • Cube the feta cheese into small cubes.
  • Dice the sweet onion into very small pieces.
  • Cut the red pepper first into strips and then into small bite sized pieces.
  • Add all of these ingredients to the salad bowl.
  • Add the chilled couscous next.
  • Make the lemon vinaigrette and toss the salad with it. Then chill before serving.

Making the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Juice the lemons and remove any seeds.
  • Add the olive oil and the spices. Mix well.
Keyword couscous, dessert salad, easy side dish, feta cheese, microgreens, pea shoots

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Recipe Rating