I think I have everything that I need for my weekend camping trip.
Tent, tarp, food, water, cooler, air mattress, lanterns, pump, Cards Against Humanity…
All good on the camping front. Now, to pack. I have a feeling I’m going to be bringing far too much stuff, but it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, right?
Since I’ll be living off of cans of Beanie Weenies and hot dogs all weekend, I figured I’d leave you with a simple—yet elegant—dinner recipe. Shrimp scampi is a favorite of mine, and pairing it with a supreme basil pesto is the coup de grace of this meal.
Making your own pesto is paramount. I had never made my own pesto before, and now I’ll never look back. The jarred stuff has nothing on the homemade version. It’s fresh, light, and you can really taste all the garlic-and-fragrant-herb flavors.
Couscous is an odd match for scampi, which is usually served with thin pasta noodles, but it works marvelously in this dish. I attribute that to the flavorful homemade pesto, but hey—you be the judge!
While I’m wolfing down a bologna sandwich next to a campfire, I can live vicariously through you in this shrimp recipe.
Shrimp Scampi with Pesto Couscous
Lemony shrimp scampi served on top of garlicky basil pesto couscous.
- 1 lb. frozen shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
- 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 TBS. garlic, chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil + 1 TBS. olive oil
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 TBS. butter
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- juice of 1 lemon
- In a food processor, pulse together basil, walnuts, Parmesan, and 1 TBS. of the garlic. Slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring water, salt and butter to a boil. Add couscous, stir, then remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the pesto.
- In a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, saute until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth and lemon juice, cook until mixture bubbles. Add shrimp and cook until pink, about 3-4 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
- To serve, spoon shrimp and scampi sauce over couscous.
In a food processor, pulse the basil, walnuts, parmesan, and 1 TBS. of the garlic.
Slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
In a saucepan, bring water, salt and butter to a boil. Pour in couscous, stir, and then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Stir in pesto…
And let stand while you make the shrimp scampi.
In a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, saute until just fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add chicken broth and lemon juice and cook until it starts to bubble. Add shrimp and cook until pink, about 3-4 minutes.
To serve, spoon shrimp and scampi sauce over pesto couscous.