Shrimp and Couscous With Tomatoes and Toasted Almonds
Note: This simple one-pot version of Couscous alla Trapanese combines the couscous and spices of Northern Africa with seafood harvested near Trapani, Sicily. This rendition cooks the shrimp and couscous at the same time, but does so gently, using residual heat trapped in a covered pot. Flat-leaf parsley adds both grassy herbal flavor and bright color. You'll need a full bunch to obtain the 1 cup finely chopped stems and leaves that's sautéed with the aromatics and the 1/4 cup roughly chopped leaves for garnish. Don't use shrimp that are smaller than extra-large (21/ 25 per pound), as they will wind up tough and overcooked. From "Milk Street: Tuesday Nights Mediterranean," by Christopher Kimball (Voracious, 2021).
• 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1/2 c. sliced almonds
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
• 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 c. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and stems, plus 1/4 c. roughly chopped leaves (see Note)
• Kosher salt and ground black pepper
• 1 (28-oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
• 3/4 c. couscous
• 1 1/2 lb. extra-large (21/ 25 per pound) shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed (see Note)
In a large pot over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a small bowl; set aside.
To the oil remaining in the pot, add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, finely chopped parsley leaves and stems, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion has softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with juices and 1 1/2 cups water, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the couscous and shrimp. Return to a boil, then cover, remove from the heat and let stand until the couscous is tender and the shrimp are opaque throughout, about 10 minutes. Stir to combine and fluff the couscous, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the couscous and shrimp to a serving dish. Sprinkle with the roughly chopped parsley and almonds, then drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.