Happy July the 4th, y’all! (Do I sound American? hahahaha!) We’re just entering our 6th day of a New York heat wave, and with that comes activities and meals which don’t just compliment the outrageous weather but actually serve as coping mechanisms. Multiple trips to the neighborhood splash pad, cool, breathable clothing and low-maintenance, little heat required recipes become the daily norm. It almost makes me excited for the Fall. Almost.
Today, we are fortunate to spend this excitement-filled holiday with a group of new and wonderful friends. Ironically, none of us are American. Actually, that’s a lie; itty bitty 1-year-old James was born right here in New York City, making him the only honorary American of our fine crew today. The rest of our group include myself, a Canadian, 2 Italians and 5 Brits and a Scot! Fine folk indeed! You can bet we’ll be the liveliest, most patriotic, most enthusiastic people in the neighborhood!
(Side note: A mini July the 4th feature to come post-party tonight!)
Today, I’m offering you a FANTASTIC summer recipe that I found on southernliving.com! Garlic Shrimp & Herbed Couscous Salad!!! For all you garlic lovers, this is for you! It is super easy and quick; I literally prepared it in LESS THAN 30 minutes! I swear! Not only will it impress as a decorative and delicious summer main, but you can even prepare it early, pack it up and bring it to a picnic, or just out on the lawn. I refrigerated my leftovers and enjoyed them the next day as a chilled couscous salad! It was phenomenal. And it saved some very precious time not having to prepare a whole new meal! Mom win!
Feel free to make substitutions. You can use quinoa or bulgar instead of the couscous! And you can even try a bell pepper instead of the cucumber! Easy, delicious and versatile. My kind of recipe. Enjoy!
Garlic Shrimp & Herbed Couscous Salad
1 cup uncooked Israeli couscous
1/4 cup olive oil, divided 1 pound peeled and deveined raw small shrimp
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 tsp lemon zest
2 1/2 tbsp fresh juice (from 1 lemon), divided
2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 cup chopped English cucumber
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add couscous. Boil, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place couscous in a large bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp, and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Stir in garlic, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; cook until shrimp are opaque, about 1 more minute. Remove from heat, and stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of the lemon juice, tossing to coat. Cool 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together oregano, thyme, lemon zest, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle over couscous. Add cucumber and feta, and toss to combine. Top with shrimp and parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.
Israeli couscous (also called pearl couscous) really soaks up the tangy dressing, but you can also substitute a cooked, cooled whole grain like quinoa or bulgur.
Click below for video instruction!!!