Thursday, August 5, 2010

Israeli couscous shrimp salad

What we have here is a box o’ leftovers. Didn’t have my camera with me last night.

We took a picnic to friends in Central City, CO yesterday. The occasion was for us to attend the opera, starring Emily Pulley (a long-time friend), and re-une with her and other friends. I debated for quite a while as to what to make. I settled on a cold salad with Israeli couscous (a particular favorite of mine) with shrimp and fresh beans from our garden.

I prepared everything in advance, but did not do final assembly until just before suppertime. (You know how pasta sucks up everything in its path.) I’ve mentioned castelvetrano olives before. They are bright green and only lightly marinated in a brine. I find their taste exquisite. I get them at Whole Foods’ salad bar. Another good find at Whole Foods is their house brand ("365") of feta cheese.

The couscous comes in varied packaging. I used two 6.3 oz. boxes so as to be sure to have enough for 5 people. I prepared everything 1 day ahead, but didn’t toss it all together until right before serving. The amount of green and yellow beans you use is completely negotiable. I had about a handful of each. Same with the roasted red pepper.

I adore Israeli couscous because of its mouth feel. Somehow the little balls of goodness make a salad like this seem light and refreshing.

I dressed this with a citrus dressing (lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, olive oil), but a person could dress it with just about anything.

Israeli couscous shrimp salad
1 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked and chilled
12.5 oz. Israeli couscous, cooked according to package
1/2 celery, finely diced, with some leaves if possible
1-2 cups yellow wax beans
1-2 cups green beans
2 scallions, white and green parts finely chopped
roasted red pepper
12 castelvetrano olives (or other olives), pitted and halved
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

When the couscous is cooked, rinse it under cold water, drain it well, and toss it with a little olive oil to prevent its sticking together.

Steam the beans 15-20 minutes (older beans obviously take longer). Rinse them under cold water and drain. Cut them into 1” pieces. If making ahead, mix the beans together with the celery, olives, roasted red pepper and scallions and store in the fridge until ready to use. Keep the feta separate until ready to toss together.


Pam said...

That sounds like a great evening, opera, good friends,good food! I'm wondering what Emily performed. Your salad looks great and a perfect thing for shrimp! I will be looking for the olives.

Jenn said...

That's right.. I forgot about your evening with your friends. I'm glad it went well! The salad, once again, looks fantastic, even if it is a picture of the leftovers! I've never had castelvetrano olives before, I must find some. I love love love olives!

Bo said...

I love israeli couscous....Sounds like a great salad...and a great time with friends.

Mary said...

What a wonderful evening it must have been. Your salad sounds perfect for a summer evening. I have only a handful of recipes for Israeli couscous. It's good to have another to add to my collection. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

What a fun filled night! Hope the opera was fun. the salad looks divine. Israli couscous is something that I've been wanting to try for a while now, this salad is the inspiration I needed to buy some next time I'm at the store. Thanks Stephen!

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