A simple harissa marinated shrimp spends a couple of minutes on the grill, then cozies up to the vibrant Moroccan flavors of a cool, crisp couscous salad with zucchini, bell pepper, toasted almonds, chick peas, and dried apricots... Grilled Harissa Shrimp and Moroccan Couscous Salad is a flavor explosion in your mouth, and full of healthy goodness!
The defining ingredient in the shrimp marinade is harissa. If you are not familiar with harissa, you are missing out! Harissa is a paste made with hot chiles, and red harissa is by far the most commonly seen in the U.S. I did recently discover green harissa, though, and given my penchant for cilantro and green chiles, I think I might actually prefer the green. Green harissa has more of an herb base, and reminds me a bit of my beloved Hatch green chile sauce. 😀 Skip to the Recipe.
I do periodically make my own red harissa (recipe) and green harissa (recipe), but both require a lot of ingredients and a bit of time. I have found commercially prepared all-natural harissa such as Mina Harissa and Mina Harissa Green Pepper Sauce.
As you can see in the photos, I marinated half of my shrimp in one and half in the other - in true New Mexico "Christmas" style! In New Mexico, we referred to red and green chile sauce as "Christmas" style. Lol.
The harissa is whisked together with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. The shrimp requires only a few minutes to absorb the luscious flavors, and 4-5 minutes on the grill finishes them off!
The Moroccan Couscous Salad can be made with your preferred couscous. I chose to use toasted couscous that is similar to Israeli couscous. It requires a few minutes of actual cooking time rather than just a soak in boiling water as in the standard packaged couscous available in the U.S.
Be sure to read the ingredients and amounts shown on the package of your particular couscous to determine amount of liquid and cooking time. The couscous is made with broth and spices, giving the salad so much flavor.
Toss the prepared couscous with diced zucchini, sweet bell pepper, chick peas, chopped dried apricots, and slivered almonds, then dress it lightly with fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Garnish with the grilled harissa shrimp and some chopped fresh cilantro, and you're "good to go!"
Do these flavors sound intriguing? For more Moroccan-inspired dishes, try my Roasted Vegetables With Dukkah, Roasted Harissa Chicken Thighs,and Pressure-Cooker Braised Lamb Shanks & Couscous. Living Lou brings a lovely and simpleMoroccan Roasted Chicken Legs, and Venturists has a Chicken Tagine With Apricots, Prunes, and Preserved Lemon. A whole new world awaits... Time to get cookin' 😉