The amazing thing about couscous is how fast it 'cooks' and how versatile it is. This is one of those recipes that should give you lots of ideas to create your own combinations. By the way, this is the 'home' version; the traditional method used to cook this dish uses a steamer called a kiska, sometimes called a couscoussier in French cuisine. Garnish with lemon.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
35 mins
additional:
5 mins
total:
55 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute shrimp shells in melted butter until pink and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer until flavors combine, about 20 minutes.

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  • Heat 1/3 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute zucchini and eggplant with a pinch of salt and pepper in hot oil until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Clear a space in the center of the skillet. Add tomato; saute in the center of the skillet until slightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic to the skillet; cook and stir all vegetables together until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute shrimp in hot oil until shrimp are pink, about 1 minute per side.

  • Combine vegetable mixture, shrimp, couscous, tarragon, and dill together in a bowl. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pat mixture into a flat shape.

  • Pour hot shrimp stock through a strainer into couscous mixture, discarding strained shells. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and let sit until couscous is tender and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Toss.

Nutrition Facts

450 calories; protein 24.4g 49% DV; carbohydrates 52.8g 17% DV; fat 15.6g 24% DV; cholesterol 115mg 38% DV; sodium 154.9mg 6% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (11)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/17/2014
Simple and quick if you assemble/prep all the ingredients early in the day.I made this exacly as directed and we both thought it was very good. I kicked it up a bit when I reheated the leftovers by adding some of my preserved lemons to it. That made it divine. I might add some sundried tomatoes next time around too. Thanks for another winner Chef John. Read More
(4)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/11/2019
My dish turned out dry. I think it was just too much couscous. I would cut it in half if I made it again. Read More
19 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 3
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/17/2014
Simple and quick if you assemble/prep all the ingredients early in the day.I made this exacly as directed and we both thought it was very good. I kicked it up a bit when I reheated the leftovers by adding some of my preserved lemons to it. That made it divine. I might add some sundried tomatoes next time around too. Thanks for another winner Chef John. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
08/01/2016
Followed the video instructions since the garlic and butter quantity were not listed in the "ingredients." I had prepped all the ingredients before cooking- good thing! The flavor was wonderful! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
08/01/2015
This was really good after I improvised a little. I reduced most thing by half since it was only for the two of us. There are a few things missing from the ingredient list.I cooked the shrimp shells in 1 TBS butter (butter wasn't listed in the ingredients) I only used 1 TBS of olive oil (instead of 1/3 cup). I used about a TBS crushed garlic. (in directions but not listed in ingredients). I also cooked it all in one pan (except for the shell broth). We loved it and will make it again. Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/13/2015
I didn't have couscous and my shrimp was already shelled so i made it on sticky rice instead. I also replaced the eggplant with mushrooms since one of my friends is not a fan. It was delicious though probably very different from the original. I will definitely try it again with all the right ingredients. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
01/14/2019
Overall a healthy and easy to make dish (just prep ahead). I only used a tablespoon of butter and 2 pounds of shrimp. I upped my zucchini. I doubled my tomatoes but they cooked down too much. Maybe I ll add some fresh on top next time. I didn t have fresh herbs so I used dry and added Italian seasoning blend. It could have used more kick but I m attributing that to my choice of seasoning. Next time I ll throw in some fresh herbs. Lemon is a must! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
06/23/2020
very good and refreshing. just make sure not to over cook the shrimp, just grill them for a few seconds on each side. I followed the recipe and cooked them for a minute on each side and they were a little overcooked when they made it to the plate. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
07/15/2018
I made an approximation to this today but for the vegetables I used sautéed onions shallots celery and mushrooms along with diced Roma tomatoes that I didn't caramelize. I particularly like the trick of making stock from the shrimp shells. Chef John also included that technique in his recipe for paella on this site which I've used with success. The other changes I made are 1) I included some lemon zest and 2) I used dried basil because I didn't have any fresh herbs on hand. It was a big hit at the potluck and I'll definitely make it again. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
03/11/2019
My dish turned out dry. I think it was just too much couscous. I would cut it in half if I made it again. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
03/27/2018
Ingredients are hard to follow due to missing list items. If I made again I would add less dill. Read More