AROMATIC COUSCOUS & SPRING SALAMI WITH GRILLED ASPARAGUS
With Renegade Spring Salami
1 Renegade Spring Salami, diced into small cubes (about ¼”)
3 cups couscous
2 large leeks, outer layers and tops removed, chopped and thoroughly washed
1 cup white cooking wine
1 bay leaf, fresh if possible
4 cups water
2 bunches organic asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil
Maldon or other large flake sea salt
For the couscous:
(1) Sautee the cubes of salami in olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan
for 3 - 4 minutes until lightly browned and aromatic.
(2) Add the chopped leeks and a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes more, then deglaze the pan with one cup of white wine and reduce until the wine is almost gone (known as “sec” in French cooking).
(3) Add the water and a bay leaf. Heat until broth is just beginning to boil.
(4) Remove the pan from heat, add couscous all at once and stir, then tightly cover. Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff the couscous lightly with a fork.
(5) Before serving, remove the bay leaf.
For the asparagus:
(1) If at all possible, buy good organic asparagus. Preheat the grill, then snap
off the woody part at the lower stems of the asparagus (these are not good to eat but can be
steeped to make a delicious asparagus broth for spring vegetable soup).
(2) Oil the asparagus lightly, then season with salt and pepper.
Note: Asparagus contains a lot of moisture and will continue to cook from the steam within after it is removed from the grill. Therefore, it is best to cook asparagus over a very hot grill or cast iron pan (don’t overcrowd!) just until you have achieved a bit of char and blistering, then spread out to cool so the heat can dissipate quickly.
After plating, drizzle the asparagus generously with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a large flake sea salt such as Maldon. Like other grilled vegetable dishes, this simple yet
delicious springtime meal will pair easily with a dry rosé or your favorite unoaked chardonnay. If you prefer a red, I recommend cabernet sauvignon or a light burgundy.
Makes 4 Servings