Grilled Shrimp with Couscous Salad

A colorful salad of couscous, tomatoes, and watercress makes a tasty bed for skewers of grilled shrimp. If you can't get beautiful summer tomatoes, it's better to leave the tomatoes out. Substitute roasted red bell peppers, if you like.

Yield: 4
Recipe from Food & Wine

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, shelled
  • 2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups couscous
  • 2 1/2 cups watercress, tough stems removed (from a 5-ounce bunch)
  • 2 scallions including green tops, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Preparation

  1. 1. Light the grill or heat the broiler. In a small saucepan, combine the oil, tarragon, and garlic. Cook over moderately low heat until the garlic just starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, let the oil cool slightly, and then discard the garlic. Thread the shrimp onto metal or wooden skewers and brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the tarragon oil.
  2. 2. In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt. Stir in the couscous. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. In a large glass or stainless-steel bowl, toss the couscous with the watercress, scallions, lemon juice, tomatoes, and the remaining tarragon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, grill or broil the shrimp, turning once, until just done, about 5 minutes. Serve the shrimp skewers on top of the couscous salad with lemon wedges on the side.
  4. Test-Kitchen Tip: Wooden skewers are handy for grilling. Just be sure to soak them in water for at least ten minutes before using, or they could burn.
  5. Wine Recommendation: Shrimp is often best with a full-bodied white wine, but with all the watercress in this salad you'll want some acidity as well. Try a sémillon from Washington State or a sauvignon blanc from California.
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