IT’S HOT, MAMA. I have two temperature-related rules when the needle hits 90: we’re not going to the playground in the afternoon (especially not with Baby G in the super sweaty Bjorn) and I’m not cooking unless I have to. Enter couscous.
This simple dinner combines a bunch of deliciously easy ingredients, and all of them good are for you. Couscous is actually a grain with more nutrition than pasta or rice, full of tasty things like riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and four times as much thiamine. Plus, the prep couldn’t be simpler. Add hot water, wait, fluff. Next there’s pre-cooked shrimp from the deli, crumbled feta cheese, chopped fresh veggies and herbs and lemon vinaigrette.
The whole thing takes about 20 minutes to prepare, tops. No sweating required. In fact, you can serve it at room temperature or chilled (which means you can make it ahead of time). One more make-ahead note: I doubled the couscous and used it again later in the week. That’s when we had a second version featuring lemon chicken and peas. (Recipe for grilled lemon chicken coming next…) Not a bad way to go if you don’t mind a bit of couscous repeat in your week.
- 1 1/2 cup couscous
- 2 cups pre-cooked shrimp
- 1/2 cup feta cheese in chunks
- 1 cup zucchini, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- juice and zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Prepare the couscous: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Combine couscous with water in a large mixing bowl and cover with a lid or folded towel. Leave for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.
In a large serving bowl, prepare the dressing: Combine zest and juice of a lemon with salt and pepper then whisk in oil. Taste it and add salt, pepper, etc. as needed. Then add basil, shrimp, feta and zucchini. (Save the tomatoes for last to avoid smashing.) Stir gingerly. Add the couscous and stir. Add tomatoes and lightly stir. Serve room temperature or chilled.