Till the temperature outside feels like fall, cooking something quick and light still seems like a fine idea.

So toast some pearled couscous to coax out its nutty flavor, and cook it on the stove top at the same time a mix of shrimp and peas roast in the oven on a sheet pan, which will bring forth the natural sweetness in each. A little apricot jam helps on that score and keeps the shrimp moist as well.

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Toss the elements together with a lemony vinaigrette, and that’s it.


1 pound peeled and deveined frozen shrimp, preferably U.S. wild-caught

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons apricot jam

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup frozen green peas

1 cup dried pearled (Israeli) couscous

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 medium shallot

Lemon half

Freshly ground black pepper

Small handful fennel fronds, for garnish (may substitute fresh dill)


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the frozen shrimp — wet them first if you need to — and place in a medium bowl, discarding the tails as well (or freeze the shells and tails to make stock later).

Step 2

Add the tablespoon of apricot jam and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Toss to coat, then arrange the shrimp on a rimmed baking sheet, scattering the frozen peas on there, too. Roast for about 6 minutes, or until the shrimp are opaque and the peas are warmed through.

Step 3

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the couscous; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly toasted. Pour in the water and add 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; once the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 4

Mince the shallot and transfer to a liquid measuring cup. Squeeze in the lemon juice, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of apricot jam, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch or two of pepper, whisking to form a vinaigrette.

Step 5

Drain the couscous, as needed, or simply use a slotted spoon to transfer it to individual bowls.

Step 6

Divide the shrimp and peas among the bowls. Drizzle the vinaigrette over each portion, then garnish with fennel fronds. Serve warm.

Based on a recipe from JoCooks.com.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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Calories: 410; Total Fat: 15 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 185 mg; Sodium: 320 mg; Carbohydrates: 42 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 7 g; Protein: 29 g.