I’m not sure if it’s just me, but it seems that with the warmer weather that’s recently arrived, lighter meals are all the rage. Just a few months ago, I was preparing stews and casseroles, but now, I seem more attracted to vegetables, sandwiches and salads. I suppose it’s because things aren’t as dark as they were. There’s no more nestling in the corner with a bowl of something. Spring is in and winter is out.
Today’s recipe is fast and easy. It’s advertised as taking only 15 minutes to prepare and pretty much anyone can do it. These are just the types of recipes I like.
I pulled this one from Curtis Stone‘s cookbook titled, What’s For Dinner? Curtis calls the recipe Grilled Shrimp & Asparagus with Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette. Since I have recently made the decision to use sweet onion as opposed to shallots in my cooking, I had to mix things up a bit. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out the benefit of shallots over the sweeter varieties of onions. In my opinion, shallots are harsher and (not in my opinion) are more expensive. I can use one sweet onion for three recipes that call for shallots.
Back to the recipe at hand – It’s good. If you like tender asparagus that still has a nice snap, you’ll enjoy this dish. The vinaigrette is great and the shrimp – well, if you’re a shrimp lover, I don’t need to tell you anything. You already know what this ingredient adds to a dish
Makes: 2 Servings
2 Tablespoons Sweet Onion, Finely Chopped
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (from lemon or bottle)
1 Tablespoon Regular Olive Oil
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1 Pound Fresh Asparagus, Trimmed
1 Pound Large Frozen Shrimp, Raw, Peeled & Cleaned
Parmesan or Romano Cheese
You can use either fresh or frozen shrimp for this recipe. It makes no difference. I choose the latter because the shrimp have been flash frozen at sea, as opposed to having them frozen and then thawed to present in the seafood department at the grocery store. Whenever I can avoid seafood that’s been sitting, I do.
In a small bowl, add the zest from 1 whole lemon, the 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and the 2 tablespoons of the finely chopped sweet onion.
Then, mix the ingredients together well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat a 12″ skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of regular olive oil to it. Then, trim the woody ends from the 1 pound of asparagus. For this step, you’ll be removing about 1 inch from the bottoms of the vegetable.
When the pan is warm, go ahead and add the asparagus to it. Toss around a bit to be sure the olive oil is coating all the asparagus.
Cook the asparagus for about 5 minutes or until each piece of bright green. Also, be sure to roll the asparagus around so each piece gets a chance to touch the bottom of the pan for a while.
After the vegetable is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and add enough lemon vinaigrette to the bowl to coat the asparagus. Toss.
Add the 1 pound of frozen shrimp to a medium size bowl.
Fill the bowl with warm water past the top of the shrimp. Let sit for a few minutes to thaw the seafood. When thawed, strain in a colander.
Be sure to toss around a bit until all the water is gone.
Now, heat the same skillet you cooked the asparagus in to medium. When warm, add in the raw shrimp. There will most likely still be oil in the pan, so you shouldn’t have to add any more. If you do, go ahead and do that.
Cook, while stirring, for just a few minutes or until you see the shrimp turn color. Be sure that all shrimp have changed color and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the shrimp is finished cooking in the skillet, divide the asparagus and place each half on two plates. Then, do the same for the shrimp. When both of those ingredients are plated, divide all the vinaigrette between the two plates as well. Finally, grate some parmesan or romano cheese on top of everything.
At the end, you should have something that looks like the photos below. If you like lemon, I think you’ll enjoy this dish.
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