I recommend using way less couscous than the original recipe calls for, and I added lemon zest (not just lemon juice), which I think helped. (Also – zest the lemon before juicing it… because if you don’t, the lemon zest gets wet and clumpy as seen below. This happened to us because the lemon zest was an afterthought. A good one, but an afterthought nonetheless).
(I’ve changed the amounts slightly…less couscous, no parsley, etc and added lemon zest and shallot)
4 ounces couscous – this is NOT much.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 can cannellini beans (about 8 ounces)
juice from 1 lemon
zest from 1 lemon
fresh parsley, chopped (just for looks – we didn’t use this)
salt and black pepper
NOTE* This recipe is the perfect moment to tell you about mise en place, which is the fancy french term for having “everything in place.” This means the following for this recipe: before you start cooking, peel and rinse your shrimp and set aside. Take the cannellini beans out of the can, drain and rinse, and set aside. Zest your lemon, and set the zest aside. Go ahead and chop your garlic, shallot, etc. This way – you don’t find yourself freaking out because your butter is burning and your shrimp still have shells on them and your garlic is still in its clove… See? Cool, huh? We try to do this before every recipe so we don’t have any crisis moments. And we feel spiffy when all of the ingredients are already measured out and everything is under control.
OK – here goes.
In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Stir in the couscous and a big pinch of salt. Cover and let sit off heat for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook for 30 seconds to one minute (don’t burn the butter). Add the shrimp and cook, stirring , until they begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the beans, (optional) parsley, lemon juice, and remaining butter, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Cook until heated through.
Go back to your couscous, which should be ready. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the shrimp/beans on top!