Shrimp and Couscous Salad
So about twenty years ago couscous wasn't anything like the instant preparation it is now. Couscous is basically a very tiny pasta - almost a grain of sand in size. We had made the traditional lamb, chicken and vegetable casserole that is also known by the title couscous. We had the pot of stew simmering on the stove with a fine colander fitted into the neck of the pan. The dry grains were then moistened with some of the broth, left to steam for a few minutes and then this process was repeated until the couscous was finally ready. I can't even remember how long it took to do because I only made it a few times again in England.
Now, couscous (Near East brand) comes in a 10oz packet that you just add to boiling water, broth etc and leave to sit for about 5 minutes while it absorbs the water and swells.
Ingredients - makes about 4-5 cups
Method1. Bring broth to a boil in a 6 qt. pan and add lemon rind. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat, cover and leave to absorb liquid - about 5 minutes in total.
2. Add zucchini, carrots, tomato, cucumber, green onion and herbs and mix well.
3. In a 1c jug mix together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper and stir with a fork or whisk until the mix looks creamy - an emulsion has been formed.
4. Pour this dressing over couscous, stir in shrimp, stir well and transfer to serving bowl . Refrigerate for about 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.
5. Top with some cashew nuts for extra crunch, or peanuts, smoked almonds etc.
NotesSome finely chopped celery or green pepper would also go well. Freshly chopped apple could be added but the apple pieces would need to be turned in lemon juice before adding to the salad to prevent browning.
Use ½ - ¾ cup of your own favorite salad dressing for a change of flavor.
Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.