What do sunshine and shellfish have in common? One answer is a southern state where oranges are grown and shrimp are harvested from the gulf. Florida is where I will be when this post goes live for the world to see. I was inspired to cook something bright, light, and fresh while planning for my trip. A speedy meal was needed because time was short with pre-trip to-do’s. Citrus Shrimp Couscous Salad is a dish with minimal cooking and maximum freshness.
Why did I go to Florida? Simple answer: the Food Wine Conference. This is the third year I’ve been an organizer, speaker, and attendee. It’s also when I get to see many of my fellow food blogging friends in person. We laugh, hug, learn, play, eat, drink, and share our experiences both personal and professional. Our hearts and minds are filled to the brim with joys and memories created while together for only a few days.
Citrus Shrimp Couscous Salad is a bowl of sunshine. Well, it is to me. Bright pink shrimp mingle with fresh orange segments, red onion, grape tomatoes, Greek olives, green avocado, among little pearls of Israeli couscous. Orange, lemon, and lime juices bump up brightness and freshness. Citrus does wonders with adding a piece of sunshine to almost any dish.
How speedy is this salad? It’s done in about 20 minutes. Actual cooking time is a few minutes for the couscous. The rest of the time involves cutting, segmenting, chopping and stirring. It all goes in a big bowl and combined by gently tossing. You can make it ahead of time and chill overnight – just wait to add avocado until serving to keep it from turning brown while chilling.
What food or meal comes to mind when you think of Florida? Oranges are a top one for me. It’s from breathing in the scent from orchards along the highway. Make a refreshing citrus cocktail to go with the salad. You can sip and munch on sunshine at the same time. Plus they are both cool and light for a hot summer day.
Citrus Shrimp Couscous Salad
- 1 cup Israeli couscous pearl
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 navel oranges
- Juice of 1 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 pound cooked and peeled medium shrimp
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 1 avocado cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives cut in half
Prepare couscous according to package instructions. Drain if needed. Stir in olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cut away peel and white pith of the oranges. Working over a large bowl, cut out and drop orange segments along with any juices into the bowl. Squeeze juice from membrane into the bowl. Discard membrane.
Add lime and lemon juices, shrimp, tomatoes, avocado, onion, olives, and cooked couscous. Gently stir to combine.
You can make the salad a day in advance and chill until serving. If so, wait to add avocado until just prior to serving.
Recipe adapted from Woman’s Day magazine August 2014 edition.
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