Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pearl couscous with cucumber and avocado

Soon I will be leaving California once again, and so it seemed fitting that before I head off on my next adventures, I should make something that features avocado, a fruit that always makes me think of California!

This dish combines avocado with just a few other flavors - cucumber, lemon juice, basil, and dill - and mixes it all up with pearl couscous, which is one of my favorite grains and is ridiculously easy to prepare. In fact, the whole thing hardly takes any time, tastes great, and is very refreshing both warm and cold.

Ingredients (for one serving):
75 g. pearl couscous (also known as Israeli or Lebanese couscous)
1 ripe avocado
1/3 of a cucumber
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh dill
A few spoonfuls of extra-virgin olive oil
Lemon juice

Wash the basil and dill. Chop the dill finely, and tear up the basil leaves by hand. Combine the basil and dill with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; stir; and let sit. You can either prepare everything else immediately, or else let the herb mixture sit half an hour first.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, and add the pearl couscous. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let sit 10 minutes or so, until the couscous have soaked up the water. Meanwhile, peel the cucumber, and chop it into thickish wedges.

Chop the avocado into wedges as well. I usually slice the avocado in half, then cut in a checkerboard pattern across each half, while leaving the peel on. After that, I can just turn the halves upside down, push the peel inwards, and the avocado wedges just fall out.

Once the couscous are done, drain any excess water, and combine them with the cucumber, avocado, and herb mixture. Stir well and serve warm, or else refrigerate for later.

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