SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The end of summer may be near, but luckily grilling season is nearly year-round in San Diego. This is a great dish if you want that delicious grilled flavor, but want a lighter alternative to burgers or steak.
Spices are hands-down an ideal way to add a punch of flavor to any fish, poultry or red meat without adding extra calories. Shrimp responds especially well to seasoning, and in this recipe only needs to be marinated for about 30 minutes prior to grilling, giving you just enough time to prep the vegetables and make your couscous.
You can easily substitute white or brown rice or even an angel hair pasta for the couscous, but if you haven't tried it, you definitely should. Packaged couscous is super-easy to make, and equally as versatile. This recipe calls for Israeli couscous, a pearl-sized variety.
As for the vegetables, they can be hand-cut, but a mandolin slicer is truly your best friend in this instance. It'll help you fly right through your prep; just do us all a favor and use that guard! This recipe does not call for sliced fingers.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your grill
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. raw, peeled, deveined shrimp
Israeli couscous, cooked according to box instructions
Red bell pepper, cut into thick strips
Zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch lengthwise
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp paprika
4 tablespoons green onion, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
Fresh-ground black pepper
Wooden skewers (6-8), soaked in water for 10 minutes
Preheat your grill accordingly.
For the shrimp:
Place the shrimp on the skewers, making sure to pierce each one twice, both through the tail and head (this will ensure you don't lose any on the grill.) Place on a baking sheet or large plate.
Mix the 1/4 cup of olive oil, paprika and thyme and pour over the shrimp skewers. Using a brush (or even your hands), make sure the marinade is evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper. Place the shrimp in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
For the vegetables:
Place vegetables onto a large baking dish. Evenly coat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
For the couscous:
Prepare the couscous according to package directions (make sure you're preparing four servings.) Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.
Grill the vegetables about 3-4 minutes per side, making sure to check periodically for doneness. After a few minutes, you should notice some nice grill marks and some tenderness in the veggies.
After the shrimp has marinated, place on the grill -- each side should only take about 2 to 3 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is.
Divide couscous between plates and top with shrimp and veggies. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve warm.