Avocado Couscous Grapefruit Salad
I’m convinced that bright, beautiful citrus dishes like today’s Avocado Couscous Grapefruit Salad are nature’s way of making it up to us for winter.
For most of the last two weeks, it’s been that particular variety of nose-biting cold that orders me immediately back beneath the covers with a pair of wool socks and a heating pad. At mealtime, I find myself craving a combination of Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili and Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese (preferably simultaneously), and Ben and I are engaged in a silent but feisty thermostat war—I turn it up, he turns it down…and then I wait for him to leave for work and turn it up again. This (and the “right way” to load the dishwasher) may be the great, enduring debates of our marriage.
Much of the produce that is in season in winter reflects a natural craving for cold-weather comfort; potatoes, winter squash, and parsnips are stick-to-your-ribs veggies intended to sustain. Then, as a complete counterpoint, we have citrus. Bright lemons, fragrant tangerines, and zippy grapefruits are a total departure from the heavier, starchier items you’ll find the in grocery store this month, and I couldn’t be more grateful for their light, vibrant presence. It’s a lovely reminder that there is radiance to be found in every season.
I’ll admit that grapefruit isn’t usually at the top of (or even on) my shopping list, but when I spied some pleasantly plump ruby reds and Pick ‘N Save, the local grocery store right down my street, I realized that it had been years since I’d enjoyed one in any form besides a grapefruit margarita, which was a pity. Juicy, tart, and packed with vitamin C, grapefruit are an ideal way to beat the winter blues and wake up your taste buds.
As a refreshing break from a string of heavier comfort-foods, I decided to add the grapefruit to a simple couscous salad. If you haven’t tried couscous, it’s a delightful, tiny pasta that cooks in fewer than five minutes and takes on any flavor with which it is combined.
Along with the couscous and grapefruit, I added avocado for creaminess, feta for saltiness (and more creaminess), white beans to make the salad filling, and fresh mint and cilantro to bring it to life. These ingredients, combined with a simple honey lime dressing, create a light and bright lunch that was just the lift I needed in the midst of a chilly week.
It’s a rare, balmy 37 degrees in Milwaukee today, which means that I fully intend to leave my parka at home when I meet up with Lee for lunch. Ben also informs that we’ll be staying home Saturday night to watch the NFL playoffs (Go Pack!), which I am fine with, provided I am given full reign over the thermostat. He can take the dishwasher.
Whatever your weekend plans, wishing you a wonderful one filled with sunny flavors and some actual sunshine to go along with them too!
Tools I used to make this recipe:
- Grapefruit knife: One of the few single-use kitchen gadgets I whole-heartedly endorse.
Avocado Couscous Grapefruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
For the Grapefruit Salad:
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken stock — or vegetable stock
- 3/4 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
- 2 large avocados — pitted and diced
- 2 large ruby red grapefruit — sectioned and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 can white beans — (15 ounces) such as navy beans, cannelli beans, or white northern beans.
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the couscous, then cover at let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the dressing ingredients: lime juice, honey, olive oil, and salt, or shake all of the ingredients together in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- In a large bowl, combine beans and couscous. Pour dressing over top and stir to combine. Add the avocados, grapefruit, feta, mint, and cilantro. Toss gently. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 4)) — Calories: 563, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 366mg, Carbohydrates: 79g, Fiber: 16g, Sugar: 22g, Protein: 17g
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