Lemon and Artichoke Couscous with Shrimp
I ate my first artichoke recently. Well, it wasn’t my first time eating artichokes, really. But it was my first time eating a whole artichoke.
I was in California for a wedding, and my mother-in-law and I were killing some time one afternoon. We stopped at a place in downtown Huntington Beach for a light lunch.
On a whim, I decided we should order the whole grilled artichoke, as I’d never had the experience of eating a whole artichoke. I’d always heard it was a fun/tasty experience, but had never tried it for myself. The whole use-your-teeth-to-scrape-the-leaves bit.
I gotta say, it wasn’t all I thought it would be. Part of the reason for this could be that there was a very long delay from the time the artichoke was served to when we actually got plates and silverware to use with said artichoke.
So, it was a cold grilled artichoke. But beyond that, I just didn’t get it.
I used my teeth to scrape the minuscule bit of meat from the leaves. I dug out the artichoke heart (trying to avoid the choke) and ate that. It seemed like a lot of work for hardly any flavor.
It came with butter and some sort of mayo for dipping, but since the artichoke itself had very little flavor, it seemed silly to use the leaves as purely a vehicle for condiments.
Maybe this was a bum artichoke. Maybe the restaurant stunk at preparing it. Are artichokes supposed to be better than this? Meh. Not impressed.
I’ve decided that artichoke hearts and are much, much better than the whole eating-the-leaves bit. And unlike most vegetables, I prefer them canned.
They’re easy, they’re cheap, and they taste great! In my opinion, fresh artichokes simply aren’t worth the trouble, especially for a quick weeknight skillet dish like this.
I cooked up some Israeli couscous (which I also love with almond crusted chicken), then tossed it with a bunch of lemon, herbs, shrimp, artichoke hearts and cheese. If we’re talking about artichokes, I’ll take a big bowl of this couscous with shrimp and artichokes any day.
Lemon and Artichoke Couscous with Shrimp
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 2-1/4 cups less-sodium chicken broth
- 1-1/2 cups Israeli (pearl) couscous
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke quarters, drained
- 1 pound 26-30 count peeled and deveined shrimp, tails removed, patted dry
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- In medium saucepot, bring broth to boil over medium-high heat. Stir in couscous. Reduce heat to medium; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until couscous is tender. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add artichokes, shrimp, black pepper and red pepper flakes; cook until shrimp turn opaque throughout, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
- Add lemon juice, lemon zest, dill, parsley and couscous; toss until well combined. Serve in warm bowls garnished with cheese.
Forgot to take a picture, partly because it got hovered up so fast straight from the stove, but this was DELICIOUS!! I had a couple of my son’s friends over so I added 1/2 a cup of couscous and doubled up on the artichokes and shrimp and lemon zest. Got rave reviews and they couldn’t stop talking about it. It’s going to the top of my make-it-again list. I will brown the couscous with a little olive oil before adding water to boil next time though as I’ve never cooked it that was and would like to try it. His gets a 10 in our book!
So glad this was a hit for your son and his friends, Linda!
This is so yummy! Just got done devouring it! I didn’t have shallots so used onion powder. Didn’t have fresh dill or parsley so used dried. Delicious!!
I am so glad you loved it, Loree!
Born and raised Californian here. In fact, we grown artichokes in our backyard. It’s kind of an acquired taste, and yes, a lot of work for the bit of artichoke you get. Some varieties are a bit meatier than others. This recipe looks delish (and doesn’t have onion). I’ll be pinning and trying this soon!
Thanks so much, Karen! Jealous of your artichoke trees!
I am the one who asked the question about using regular couscous instead of Israel three years ago .This has become a regular idem on my menu , my whole family loves this! Thank You for a great recipe !
I am SO glad to hear that, Karen. Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know 🙂
Just made this using a 5 grain blend instead of couscous. This was a WINNER! Love the flavors.
Love the idea of using 5 grain blend! So glad it was a winner, Tanya!
Do you have any suggestions for vegetarians who don’t eat shrimp? Anything you would recommend adding instead, or would you just leave it out?
Hi Elizabeth! How about some chickpeas for cannelini beans for protein?
I am no a big fan of Israel couscous ,could I use regular couscous instead?
Oh, definitely! Just cook the regular couscous according to the package directions, and then stir it in as per this recipe! Enjoy!
Wow this looks amazing. I love couscous and shrimp and artichoke hearts. I may just put this on my menu for the week.
Thanks so much, Rachelle. If you make it, I hope you enjoy it! Such a quick weeknight meal, and I just love Israeli couscous when it’s involved in anything 🙂
I love how this meal looks, super elegant and beautiful. Would love this for dinner. 🙂
Thanks Pamela! I must say, it turned out a lot prettier-looking than I was expecting 🙂
I once spent an evening trimming and cooking an entire fresh artichoke to only be mehhed by the entire meal. Just like you said, it isn’t worth it for that tiny little bit of meat you get off the leaves. Instead I’ll pick up my box of frozen hearts (I’m partial to them this way) and go on my way or even better the marinated versions. This by the way is one of my favorite types of dinners.
In culinary school, I would spend entire mornings trimming baby artichokes just to get to the hearts. So, I guess I’ve “prepared” fresh artichokes but had just never eaten a whole one. So not worth it, at all.
I WISH the grocery stores around here would cary frozen artichoke hearts – I would love to buy them this way. But for some reason, I just can’t seem to find them, so have to stick with canned.
Lori, this dish looks amazing. I prefer the hearts to the leaves. Their tender, not bitter and hard. Gorgeous! Pinned.
Thank you, Jennie. My grandma’s old cast iron pan worked out just perfectly for these photos. I’m so lucky to have it. Thanks for pinning!