Hot avocado isn’t something that I’m usually into. Guacamole, I love. Avocado on toast is a favourite breakfast treat. And who could forget the beauty of a classic BLT, turned into something really special with a little avocado and an unfortunate acronym (BLAT).
But when it comes to actually cooking avocado, I tend to steer clear. It could possibly have something to do with the disaster that was an avocado soup I made for a dinner party in the 90s when I was young and naive. Or it could just be that you don’t see recipes for warm avocado very often.
Either way, when I was reading Jamie’s America I couldn’t help but be intrigued by his ‘Mad Dog Salad’ that contained tortilla chips, melted cheese and roast avocado. Putting aside my hot avocado prejudice, I gave it a go. And while the avocado was surprisingly delicious. Still rich, but more interesting with its crispy edges. The texture meaty and substantial, not the greasy softness I was imagining.
But eating salad leaves with your fingers is a bit funny. And eating tortilla chips covered in melted cheese with a fork feels a touch barbaric. And my Irishman thought it was a bit token trying to make nachos seem healthy. Not entirely a winner, but the avocado we loved.
So I had a bit of a think about it and came up with this roast avocado and couscous salad. A great little dish with the onion-spiked couscous balancing out the rich, toasty avocado. And one that makes sense to eat with a fork.
roast avocado & couscous salad
Feel free to use a different grain for this salad. Burglur wheat or freekah would make a more interesting substitute as would cooked quinoa.
If the warm avocado makes you a little nervous, by all means serve it with raw avocado.
This is a great thing to make if your avocado is a little on the under-ripe side. It won’t soften a rock hard avo’ but it will help along one that is a little too hard to spread on toast.
I’ve been having an issue with lumpy couscous of late but have overcome the problem. Instead of using a fork to fluff before serving, I’ve found that a wire whisk does a much better job.
1 large avocado
1/2 cup couscous
1/4 small red onion, peeled & finely diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 handfuls mixed leaves
Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Cut avocado into quarters, lengthwise, discarding stone and peel. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season generously with salt & pepper. Bake for about 15minutes 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 1/2 cup boiling water. Season and stir through a tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Cover and stand until needed.
Whisk together 1 tablespoon lemon juice with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Season.
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.
For those of you interested in a wonderful new food website it’s worth taking a look at GourmetRabbit. I have 3 annual memberships to GourmetRabbit (worth $AU22.95 each) and a copy of GourmetRabbit Issue #1 (worth $16.95) for 4 winners. To be in the running to win, subscribe to stonesoup by email before 31st August.
On breadshoes: enopizzeria – neutral bay.