Grilled Chimichurri Shrimp and Couscous Salad
Crowd-pleasing potluck salad with lite and clean grilled shrimp, nutty couscous pasta, grilled asparagus, bell peppers and lots of zesty tangy chimmichurri sauce...
Friends, I call it a salad.. but it indeed is a complete lite dinner or lunch with portion of lean protein, lots of veggies, herbs as well as carbs.
Can you believe this three-component (grilled shrimp, chimichurri sauce, couscous pasta) recipe needs only 20 minutes, start to finish! Oh yes! That's comfort of cooking with shrimp! By the time, couscous cook in boiling water, shrimp and veggies are ready on grill. And chimichurri sauce? It needs no cooking at all. Keep a food processor ready, sauce will be ready under 1 minute, max.
And this makes me feel like steal a line from Ina Garten - How easy was that?! :-)
Oh, this salad can be served at room temperature (when just cooked) or cold. You can prepare it a day in advance which makes it perfect to bring to potlucks or grilling parties.
I know, it's still Winter season officially. But, you guys, we are about to hit Spring season and grilling times (my fav) are not so far away. (at least for us, Californians , it is already Summer! We have simply decided to skip Spring season this year. lol!)
Honestly, I'm always testing recipes to make delicious, zesty and fresh salads. No wonder this colorful week needed one salad at-least, may be two :) j/k.
Today's salad is as special in flavors as it is colors. The zing of chimmichurri sauce with nutty Isarali Couscous and lite grilled shrimp... everything compliments each other so so well!
Chimichurri or chimmichurri is a tangy herbaceous green sauce served with grilled meats,. It's basic preparation ingredients are finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. I decided to add a little zing in the basic preparation with some fresh mint and chili flakes.
Actually, I found this sauce even better than classic chimichurri!
Who knew a simple fresh ingredient can take a fab sauce to super-fab-flavor sauce. It so so good that I can drink it with straw! *major drool*
First time we tried Chimichurri in local Mediterranean Fusion restaurant with some grilled lamb chops. Actually, I have mostly seen Chimichurri served with grilled meats since it's lite and fresh flavors compliment fatty meats very well. However, seafood is yet another protein which goes very well with lemony-herbaceous condiments. So I decided to replace lamb chops with lean shrimp. To further reduce fat I have only grilled shrimp without much oil.
I'm sure a taste of this zesty salad and you will be making it many times. I suggest to double the recipe for Chimichurri to help extra cravings.
Even though this shrimp salad comes together in just 20 minutes.... I prefer to make chimichurri sauce a night before. If we in mood to eat shrimp for dinner, I just cook pasta and grill some shrimp and veggies while pasta cooks. (if not grilling, roasting in oven or pan saute in little oil works well too).
Mixing in cooked shrimp and veggies with nutty silky couscous pasta and chimichurri sauce... in 15 minutes delicious dinner salad is ready to devour.
This salad tastes good served room temperature or chilled. To pack for potluck parties, it can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight.
I hope you enjoying the colorful week so far! Wish you a great day ahead! -Savita
This season eat more shrimp with these easy recipes:
Grilled Chimichurri Shrimp and Couscous Salad
- Chimmichuri Sauce
- 1 Cup Parsley (fresh leaves, a generous handful)
- 1/2 Cup Mint (fresh leaves)
- 3 tbsp Lemon (juice, about 1 and 1/2 lemon)
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic (cloves)
- 1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
- 1/2 tsp Salt (adjust per taste)
- Grilled Shrimp and Couscous Salad
- 1/2 lbs Shrimp (10-12 counts, cleaned and shelled)
- 1/2 lbs Asparagus (trimmed, quartered )
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (thin sliced, seeds discarded)
- Oil Spray (for grill)
- Salt (to taste)
- 1/2 lbs Couscous (pearl or Israeli Couscous )
- 1. Bring pot of water to rolling boil, season with salt and cook couscous until just al-dente (7-10 minutes). Or follow direction of cooking couscous pasta package.
- 2. While couscous is cooking, in a food processor jar, combine all Chimmichuri ingredients and puree to a smooth green sauce. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- 3. Once couscous has cooked, transfer it to a wide mixing bowl, add half of the Chimmichuri, toss well and set aside.
- 4. Preheat a gas grill or a cast iron grill pan. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Spray grill with oil, grill shrimp and vegetables until shrimp curled and pink with no sign of opaque (about 1-2 minute each side) and vegetables are crisp tender. Remove into bowl with couscous.
- 5. Rough chop the grilled vegetables. Remove into same bowl with couscous and shrimp. Toss well. Add remaining sauce on top. Serve cold or at room temperature, either in big bowl or transfer to small plates. Serve and enjoy!
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