Aside from all of my ‘I want Winter’ banter, I do sometimes actually forget what time of year it is because LA is so moderate with weather. Case and point, I decided I was going to make shrimp with mango salsa for dinner on Sunday, and upon arriving at the farmers market realized the key fruit ingredient wasn’t in season. Mangos? It’s December. I had already committed to it though, shrimp, avocados, beautiful cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro, red onion, they’d all been purchased. There was no turning back. The Brentwood farmer’s market, my favorite one in LA, was teeming with winter fare – squash, potatoes, fresh meats…and for some odd reason I was completely focused on a meal that was light enough to eat in 100 degree weather, and seasonally-inappropriate to the point where I had to go to 3 different stores to find the salsa’s key feature. “Give up already, Caroline!” I couldn’t. I have a million and a half recipes with shrimp in my head that would not require a grocery-shopping-run-around, but I had to stick my course. In the end, it was delicious, and I can only imagine how much more delicious it would be when it’s hot out and the mango is ripe.
Recipe for you!
3/4 lb Shrimp (good for 2 ppl)
1 cup pearl couscous
1 tomato (or ¾ basket of cherry tomatoes)
¾ red onion
2 cloves garlic
Handful of cilantro, chopped
1/4 stick butter
2 handfuls of spinach
To make the salsa, either dice a tomato or halve the cherry tomatoes into a medium sized bowl. peel the mango and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (really, just cut into small pieces the easiest way possible) add to the tomatoes, cut up avocado into chunks, mix in the chopped onion and half of the cilantro, juice half of the lime over the mixture and stir together.
In a medium sized sauce pot bring 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil, add 1 cup of pearl couscous, mix in 1 teaspoon of butter and a pinch of salt, cover and let simmer for 8-10 minutes.
In a frying pan melt the remaining butter and add the chopped garlic. Once lightly sautéed and the pan is hot, add the shrimp (shelled and deveined), once white on the exposed side flip to the other side until completely pink-ish in color. Mix into a bowl with the couscous and salsa, add fresh spinach, use remaining cilantro as garnish...bon appétit!