This is a great all-season recipe that handles many variations, an especially useful feature for making a last-minute meal and avoiding a trip to the store. Raw frozen shrimp is available at most supermarkets and is a good thing to have on-hand in the freezer. Check that it’s peeled and deveined to spare you the task. You can take or leave the mushrooms. Spinach can stand in for kale. Pasta can replace quinoa. And in summer, whole cherry tomatoes are a great alternative for the canned San Marzanos. Whatever way you go, it’s full of flavor and an excellent leftover.
For defrosting the shrimp, the package instructions typically indicate that a slower thaw is preferred but the quick way works fine too. The easiest way is to put the shrimp in a bowl in the morning, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dinner. If they’re still slightly frosty, you can place them in a colander, rinse with water and then let drain before putting in the bowl to marinate. For the quick thaw, run under cold water in a colander for 6-8 minutes and then drain and proceed.
Because you’ll be adding ingredients every couple of minutes, it helps to take the time to pull everything together before you start.
Begin with quinoa or pasta preparation. Then marinade the shrimp.
After sautéing onions, mushrooms, garlic, herbs and salts, crush the tomatoes individually over the pan.
Next add greens, either kale or spinach, and blend in slowly until wilted.
Add the raw shrimp last, heating it in the sauce just until it turns pink.
You’ll find this sauce is even better the next day. Keep the quinoa stored separately. Enjoy!
Shrimp Sauté with Tomatoes and Kale on Quinoa
Quinoa or Pasta
Start by preparing quinoa (here is a great basic recipe) or boiling water for pasta.
- 16 ounces frozen, raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Kosher or Herb Salt
- 1 grind of Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
- Half of a Lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 8 ounces sliced Mushrooms (8 large/12 small, optional)
- ½ to 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 grind of Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 28-ounce can San Marzano whole peeled Tomatoes
- 2 large handfuls of fresh Spinach, stems removed, or 10-12 Kale Leaves, stem and rib removed and cut in ribbons
- 1/2 cup Milk, Cream or combination
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese (optional)
- Fresh Basil, sliced (optional)
- Thaw shrimp according to package instructions. See notes in post above.
- When defrosted and drained, place in a bowl and toss with olive oil, regular or herb salt, black pepper, thyme, and lemon zest and juice. Optional: Add ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Let flavors meld until the sauce is prepared.
- Heat a large sauté pan or pot over medium flame and add 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Heat for a minute and add onion. Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes until slightly soft.
- Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and red pepper flakes.
- Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes.
- Add whole crushed garlic cloves and stir for 30 seconds to infuse flavor.
- Crush tomatoes with your hands and add to sauce. Use just the tomatoes and not the liquid. Stir to combine.
- Add spinach or kale and stir occasionally for 2-4 minutes until wilted.
- Add shrimp and fold into the sauce. Cook until shrimp has just turned pink, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in ½ cup milk, cream or a combination and stir for 30 seconds to blend in.
- Remove from heat.
- Fish out garlic cloves.
- Serve over quinoa or pasta.
- Sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese and basil.
NOTE: This is a great make-ahead recipe. When ready to serve, just reheat on the stovetop. If you are planning to eat the same day, slightly undercook the shrimp so that they don’t get overdone when reheated. Excellent leftovers.
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