I’m celebrating the official beginning of spring with this Shrimp and Couscous with Peas and Mint! The recipe is a simple, healthy, 20 minute meal that’s a cinch to make.
Is there anything more “spring” than fresh peas and mint? The classic combination is delicious mixed into fluffy couscous. Add simply seasoned, seared shrimp (or chicken, or fish…) and you’ve got an easy, fast meal for busy weeknights.
Here’s what I love about couscous- you don’t actually need to cook it. You just add it to boiling liquid (in this case, chicken broth), turn off the heat, and let it sit, covered, until it absorbs the liquid. While it’s absorbing, you cook the shrimp, which only takes about 5 minutes total. Dinner, done!
Also, it’s CHEAP. Which means even though you’re going to spend some money on the shrimp (especially if you buy it already peeled and deveined), you’ll save money on the rest of your meal.
One of my favorite parts about this recipe are the toasted pine nuts added in to the couscous. It gives it a crunchy texture and toasty flavor. I got my pine nuts in the bulk foods section of my grocery store. They tend to be a bit pricy- $18.99 per pound at my store- but because you only need 1/4 of a cup, it’s cheaper to get only what you need (mine cost $1.50 total). For a more affordable option, use sliced or slivered almonds.
If you can’t find already toasted nuts, toast them before you start cooking. Toasting nuts is extremely simple, but it does require your attention. After heating for a little while, they will all of a sudden turn fragrant and begin to brown, and can burn VERY quickly. In fact, I had to return to the grocery store when I made this because I got distracted and let my first batch burn.
To toast the nuts, place in a small skillet (dry- no oil or anything) and stir or flip constantly until nuts begin to smell toasty and begin to look brown. Turn off the heat immediately and continue stirring in the skillet ensuring all sides get toasted, then remove to a small bowl or plate for later.
Of course, you don’t HAVE to toast the nuts, but I love the depth of flavor they add!
Recipe for Shrimp and Couscous with Peas and Mint below. Happy spring!
Shrimp and Couscous with Peas and Mint
- 1 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup peas preferably fresh, but frozen can also be used
- 1 cup couscous
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 lb. uncooked shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
- plenty of salt and pepper to taste
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, boil the broth.
- Add the peas and salt to taste and boil for one minute.
- Add the couscous, stir, turn off the heat, and cover. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pat the shrimp dry with a clean kitchen or paper towel.
- Mix shrimp in small bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, and plenty of salt and pepper.
- Sear shrimp in a skillet on high heat for two minutes on each side.
- Fluff couscous with a fork and stir in fresh mint and pine nuts. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Serve shrimp on top of couscous.