Giant couscous with big fat prawns & buttered almonds
So – another Monday, another healthy dinner. Is it just me or does it feel wrong to eat unhealthily or extravagantly on a Monday? Well, whilst this dinner is certainly easy on the hips, it was a little bit special for the start of the week. But, you see, I’ve been craving giant prawns with heads on for a while now and they never ever are available in my rubbish local supermarket. But, I spied some today and simply had to buy them.
It seemed right to pair them with a summery grain, and I chose giant couscous – so much more interesting than the ordinary variety you so often see. I always think of the Mediterranean when I eat big fat prawns like these, so smoky paprika and lemony sumac were the winning herbs from my spice shelf. I chose summery peppers, sweet santini tomatoes and sharp spring onions, along with lemony parsely and sweet dried fruit to add to the couscous, and buttered almonds to scatter on top. Yum yum.
You will need:
1 cup of giant couscous
1 1/4 cups of boiling water
1 tbspn smoked paprika
1.5 tbspn sumac
10-15 santini tomatoes, halved
1 red pepper, chopped into 1-2cm pieces
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 tbspn candied orange peel (optional)
1.5 tbspn sultanas
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 knob of butter
2 tbspns whole almonds
12 cooked king prawns, with heads and shells on
Lemon-flavoured extra virgin olive oil (or regular extra virgin)
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, leafs picked away from stems (leave the leaves whole!)
1 – Grab a large saucepan and tip in the tomatoes, peppers, spring onions, paprika, sumac and dried fruit
2 – Tip in the couscous and boiling water, stir well, then turn on the heat and simmer with a lid on for 8-10 minutes until the water is absorbed
3 – Once cooked, season to taste, stir in a tablespoon of oil and the juice of one of your lemon wedges; set aside to cool in the pan with the lid on
4 – Meanwhile, take a small saucepan and heat the butter over a medium heat; stir in the almonds and cook until golden and fragrant (about 2-3 minutes)
5 – Lift the almonds out of the pan with a slotted spoon, reserving the almondy hot butter
6 – Once the almonds, couscous and butter is cool, you are ready to serve; spoon the couscous into a large serving dish, scatter over the parsley and layer the prawns on top.
7 – Drizzle the almondy butter, almonds and a generous few glugs of olive oil over the prawns, plus some extra black pepper and salt if desired; serve with the additional lemon wedges and lots of napkins!