Thursday, July 26, 2012

Couscous and Capers

The other night we tried a new couscous recipe called Mediterranean Shrimp Couscous (from Taste of Home).  I know there are still many Canadian residents that aren't familiar with couscous - if that's you, check out my post about the grain.  It is very versatile and extremely quick to cook.

This was my first time using capers in a recipe.  What are capers you ask?  They are unopened buds of the Capparis spinosa bush, mainly grown in Mediterranean countries.  They are typically found pickled in a brine, so it's a good idea to rinse some of the salt away before using them.  Harvesting is done by hand and they can be used in a variety of dishes (salads, sauces, vegetables, dressings) to add a tangy, salty flavour.


  • 1-1/2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked couscous
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  • In a large skillet, saute the shrimp, shallot and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil until shrimp turn pink. Remove and keep warm.
  • In the same skillet, cook and stir the zucchini, wine, tomatoes and capers until zucchini is tender. Add spinach; cook just until wilted. Add broth and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Cover and remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
  • Whisk the lemon juice, vinegar and remaining oil; add to the pan. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese, the seasonings and reserved shrimp mixture; cook and stir over low heat until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. 
  • Yield: 6 servings.
Nutritional Facts
1 cup equals 385 calories, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 143 mg cholesterol, 619 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 28 g protein.

Keep having fun in the kitchen!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching