Monday, July 18, 2011

Roasted Avocado and Couscous Salad

Have you ever roasted an avocado? Until recently, the idea hadn’t even crossed my mind. I’ve seen several different ways to serve avocados, but the fruit was always raw. So when I saw this recipe on Stonesoup, I was very intrigued. It turns out that roasted avocados are surprisingly good! The outside gets crispy, while the inside stays soft, and they’re really good warn! For this salad, which is more like a light lunch than a dinner, both the Engineer and I recommend using 2 avocados instead of 1, especially since parts of them tend to be a little bruised, leaving you with less than you thought. This makes 2 servings, and given how few ingredients there are, it works surprisingly well. There’s still room to improvise: I used a big shallot instead of ¼ of a red onion, and it would works well with other types of grains. I’m thinking quinoa, especially if you want to make it gluten-free, but if that’s not an issue, maybe wheat berries or faro would make it heartier.

Note that slightly underripe avocados are best for roasting.

2 large avocados
½ cup couscous (or try cooked quinoa, for example)
¼ small red onion, peeled and finely diced (or a shallot or two)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 handfuls mixed leaves
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Cut avocados into quarters, lengthwise, discarding stone and peel. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until hot and sizzling and starting to go a little golden at the edges.

Meanwhile, place couscous and onion in a heatproof bowl and pour over ½ cup boiling water. Season and stir through a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional, I didn’t do it). Cover and let stand until needed.

Whisk together 1 Tbsp lemon juice with 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste.

To serve, fluff couscous with a wire whisk or a fork. Toss leaves and couscous through dressing and arrange on a platter or 2 plates. Top with hot avocado.

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