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Grilled Spicy Cranberry Pesto Shrimp over Curried Israeli Couscous with Mango and Dried Cranberries

Grilled Spicy Cranberry Pesto Shrimp over Curried Israeli Couscous with Mango and Dried Cranberries

Recipe by Scott Iwanicki, executive chef, Flik ISD, The Ethel Walker School, Simsbury, CT for the 2015 Cranberry Marketing Committee USA / Flik Independent School Dining Cranberry Recipe Contest

YIELD: 4 servings

For Israeli couscous:
6 Tbsps. olive oil, divided
½ tsp. mustard seeds
3 tsps. curry powder, yellow
½ cup red onion, small dice
2 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ cup red bell pepper, small dice
¼ cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
¼ cup mint, fresh, chopped
3 Tbsps. local honey
1 large mango, chopped
2 limes, juiced
½ cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper, to taste

For shrimp:
1 cup dried cranberries
1 ½ cups basil leaves, fresh
1 ½ cups mint leaves, fresh
½ cup parsley, fresh
5 large cloves garlic
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbsps. cranberry juice cocktail
1 large lemon, juiced
2 tsps. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ cup olive oil
16 shrimp, 16/20 count, peeled and deveined
4 (12-inch) skewers, soaked in water

1.    For couscous: In 4-qt. saucepan, add half the olive oil and gently heat over medium heat. Add half red onion and sauté until translucent, about 1 minute. Add mustard seeds and curry powder and sauté for another 30 seconds. Note: do not place nose over pot. Mustard seeds produce unpleasant mustard gas.
2.    Add vegetable stock to pan and bring to boil. Add couscous to boiling broth and cook for 1 minute. Cover pan and remove from heat; leave covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork, transfer to large mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
3.    When couscous has cooled, add remaining ingredients (remaining onion, peppers, cilantro, mint, mango, honey, lime juice, cranberries and remaining olive oil, if necessary), mix well and adjust seasoning, to taste.
4.    For shrimp: Soak cranberries in hot water for 10 minutes to rehydrate; drain and discard water.
5.    To make pesto sauce, combine first 10 ingredients in food processor and turn on. Slowly add olive oil until well processed. Add more oil if needed and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until needed.
6.    Place shrimp in bowl and top with pesto sauce and mix well. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, up to 3 hours (longer is better).
7.    Place 4 shrimp on each skewer and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
8.    Cook shrimp on preheated, prepared gas or charcoal grill, 2-3 minutes per side.
9.    To assemble: After couscous has been made and refrigerated, cook shrimp according to directions. Place 4 oz. spoonful of couscous on plate and top with 4 shrimp.

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