Avocados Stuffed with Couscous Salad

| April 19, 2010 | 2 Comments

For me, boredom can sometimes turn into culinary inspiration. Such was the case recently when I was faced with coming up with a vegetable or starch side for a seafood entrée I was making after spending a day of fishing on the Garibaldi jetty. 

I wanted to do something easy because I was wiped out from a day on the rocks. I also wanted to use ingredients from our burgeoning kitchen cupboard that I was having trouble closing from all of the ingredients crammed onto its many shelves. I’m sure you don’t have our situation, where we have so many things in our cupboard that it’s easier to buy a bottle or bag of whatever than to pull everything out to see if we actually already have whatever it is we need. If forced to, I think we could eat a month on the ingredients stashed in our cupboards. 

This time, I committed to examine the pasta and grains shelf, pulling out every bag and box to see what we had. Hmmm, quinoa? (It’s an Andean grain that has become popular.) My mother and I have a good laugh every time we serve this because quinoa’s Thai pronounciation (kee-ngua) means water buffalo poop in my native tongue. I decided to pass on the water buffalo poop, and instead spied a half-used box of couscous. 

A refreshing couscous salad stuffed into avocado halves.


Couscous is granules of semolina wheat. It’s a traditional staple in the Maghreb, which, according to Wikipedia in Arabic, refers to the five countries constituting North Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. I decided to go for the couscous and use it in a cultural culinary concoction inspired by a dish from Lebanon, on the other side of the Mediterranean: Tabbouleh. It’s a salad dish made of finely chopped parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes and spring onions dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. We had some tomatoes that really needed to be eaten, some parsley in the fridge, and, instead of lemon juice, I decided to use a nearly-empty bottle of Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinegar salad dressing that was languishing on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Satisfied that I was doing my family good by using up some ingredients on hand and freeing up shelves and cabinets for more stuff, I went to work preparing dinner. 

Avocados Stuffed with Couscous Salad 

  1. 1 cup (240 ml.) couscous
  2. 1 cup (240 ml.) chicken stock
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ( 2.5 ml.) salt
  4. 1 cup (240 ml.) Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinegar salad dressing (or other brand)
  5. 1 cup (240 ml.) chopped Italian parsley
  6. 2 tomatoes, chopped
  7. 2 or 3 ripe avocados, peeled, sliced into halves and de-pitted
  • Bring chicken stock to boil in a small saucepan, add salt, add couscous and stir. When it comes to a boil again, turn off the heat, cover with lid and let stand for five minutes.
  • Empty couscous into a mixing bowl and use a fork to fluff the couscous so that it’s loose and the grains are not sticking together.
  • Add salad dressing, chopped parsley and chopped tomatoes, and mix well.
  • Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  • Using a scooper or spoon, stuff couscous salad into the cavity of each avocado half and create a mound with the salad.
  • Serve.


— Vic

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Category: Salad

About the Author (Author Profile)

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

Comments (2)

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  1. Marlene says:

    Victor I can see why you and your mother laugh about quinoa. Your recipe sounds delicious. Pranee’s article never made it to be read. I am sorry as I was very interested.


  2. Can’t wait to try this. I love all these ingredients, but would not have thought this recipe up. I will pretend I didn’t read the bit about the buffaloes. LOL

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