Grilled Shrimp and Vegetables With Pearl Couscous
3 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
3 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/4 cups pearl couscous (sometimes called Israeli couscous; 3/4 pound)
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl ounces)
1 cup water
1/4 tsp crumbled saffron threads
2 lb large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined if necessary
2 medium red onions (1 pound total)
2 lbs large zucchini (about 4), cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
6 oz feta, crumbled (1 1/4 cups)
Special equipment: about 12 (8-inch) wooden skewers and 20 wooden picks (round, not flat), soaked in water 30 minutes
- Whisk together vinegar, oregano, thyme, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until salt is dissolved. Add 1/3 cup oil in a slow stream, whisking until vinaigrette is combined.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then toast couscous, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and pale golden, 3 to 5 minutes. While couscous toasts, stir together broth, water, and saffron in a large glass measure. Add to couscous with 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer, uncovered. Simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and couscous is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Stir vinaigrette to combine, then stir 2 tablespoons into couscous and let stand, uncovered, at room temperature.
- Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas).
- Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl and thread 4 or 5 shrimp onto each skewer (don't crowd, or shrimp won't cook evenly).
- Peel onions and trim root ends slightly, leaving ends intact, then halve lengthwise and cut halves lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide wedges. Insert 1 wooden pick through each wedge to hold layers together while grilling, then put onions in a large bowl with zucchini. Toss vegetables with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Grill shrimp skewers on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once with tongs, until just cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Transfer shrimp, discarding skewers, to a clean bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette.
- Grill vegetables on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using a gas grill, turning over once, until just tender, about 5 minutes, transferring to bowl as grilled. Remove and discard picks from onions. Drizzle vegetables with remaining vinaigrette and toss to combine.
- Spoon couscous onto a large platter or shallow serving bowl. Arrange shrimp and vegetables on top of couscous and sprinkle with feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- If you aren't able to grill outdoors, shrimp and vegetables can be cooked in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderately high heat. Grill shrimp skewers, turning over once, about 4 minutes total. Grill vegetables, turning over once, about 5 minutes total.
- Vinaigrette can be made 3 hours ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.
- Shrimp skewers can be assembled 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap.
- Vegetables can be cut and onions can be skewered 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap.