Thursday, July 18, 2013

Couscous Salad with Mushrooms, Corn, Black Beans, Scallions and Avocado

I usually don't like avocados in my salad and sandwiches, although I love guacamole.  I think it's because the flavor is so strong and the texture is so unique so that's all I end up tasting and I feel like it overwhelms whatever I'm eating.  But this recipe seemed so intriguing I had to give it a shot.  Plus I'm a big fan of Israeli couscous ever since I had my first taste at my eldest sister's wedding over a decade ago. I'd never cut and peeled my own avocado and man those suckers are super easy to peel!

The couscous salad goes so well with the avocados - a perfect marriage of flavors and textures!  This is a great dish to eat warm or cold for the summer months when avocados are plentiful!

Servings: 2-4 (this is two dinners for me)

1 1/3 cups of Israeli/pearl couscous (Trader Joe's has a great box of these)
2 tablespoons (approximately) of extra virgin olive oil, divided (or cooking spray)
10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups chopped scallions
1 1/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 limes, juiced
1 avocado, pitted and sliced or chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 sliced jalapeno (optional)
Hot sauce (optional)


  • Cook 1 1/3 cup of couscous according to instructions and set aside.
  • While couscous is cooking, heat a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add a couple teaspoons of oil or coat with a cooking spray and then cook 10 oz of sliced mushrooms, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until golden grown.  Season mushrooms lightly with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan or another coating of cooking spray and cook 1 1/4 cup of corn and 1 1/2 cup chopped scallions, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until scallions are soft and the corn is browned.  If you want, you can divide the scallions into white parts and green parts and cook the white parts now and set aside the green parts to add in later, but I'm lazy so I just throw them all in the pan.
  • Remove pan from heat and add to the pan the cooked mushrooms, 1 can of black beans, and the juice from 2-3 limes.  If you separated the scallion greens earlier, add them back in now.
  • Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top each dish with the chopped avocado and cilantro.  Avocado slices look all pretty and fancy but practically it's easier to eat if you just chop up the avocado in small pieces.  
  • Optional:  Add a sliced jalapeno or a couple splashes of your favorite hot sauce for some heat!
Sunny looks all tired as though she was the one doing all the cooking!
Adapted from Martha Stewart.

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