Firefly Shrimp & Vegetable with Pearl Couscous

Posted on September 22, 2011
in: Savory Dish | Cuisines: Mediterranean

Delicious, fresh and impressive, wow your guests with this flavorful summer dish. Rich in nutrients and protein, the grilled vegetables and shrimp add a touch of smokiness while trying something new like pearl couscous!


6 - 8


3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/4 177s pearl couscous (also called Israeli couscous)
1 3/4 177s chicken broth (14 fl ounces)
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
2 pounds large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined if necessary
2 medium red onions (1 pound total)
1 orange bell pepper, cut into 1½-inch pieces
2 pounds large zucchini (about 4), cut diagonally into ½ -inch-thick slices
1 1/4 177s crumbled French Feta
3 tablespoons chopped fresh, flat-leafed parsley leaves


Special equipment: about 12 (8-inch) wooden skewers and 20 wooden picks (round, not flat), soaked in water 30 minutes

1. Whisk together vinegar, oregano, thyme, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until salt is dissolved.
2. Add 1/3 cup oil in a slow stream, whisking until vinaigrette is combined.
3. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a wide 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add couscous and stir occasionally. Toast until fragrant and pale golden, about 3 to 5 minutes.
4. While couscous toasts, stir together broth, water, saffron and parsley in a large glass measure. Add to couscous with ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer, uncovered.
5. Simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and couscous is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes.
6. Stir vinaigrette to combine, then stir 2 Tablespoons into couscous and let stand, uncovered, at room temperature.
7. Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).
8. Toss shrimp with 1 Tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a bowl and thread 4 or 5 shrimp onto each skewer (don’t crowd, or shrimp won’t cook evenly).
9. Peel onions and trim root ends slightly, leaving ends intact, then halve lengthwise and cut halves lengthwise into ½ -inch-wide wedges. Insert 1 wooden pick through each wedge to hold layers together while grilling. Put onions in a large bowl with zucchini.
10. Toss vegetables with remaining 2 Tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
11. Grill shrimp skewers on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once with tongs, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer shrimp, discarding skewers, to a clean bowl and toss with 2 Tablespoons vinaigrette.
12. Grill vegetables on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, until just tender, about 5 minutes, transferring to bowl as grilled. Remove and discard picks from onions. Drizzle vegetables with remaining vinaigrette and toss to combine.
13. Spoon couscous onto a large platter or shallow serving bowl. Arrange shrimp and vegetables on top of couscous and sprinkle with feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Alternative to outdoor grilling:
Shrimp and vegetables can be cooked in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderately high heat. Grill shrimp skewers, turning over once, about 4 minutes total. Grill vegetables, turning over once, about 5 minutes total.

Vinaigrette can be made 3 hours ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.

Shrimp skewers can be assembled 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap.

Vegetables can be cut and onions can be skewered 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap.