Roasted Shrimp with Asparagus

With this unseasonably warm weather and the early arrival of Spring, I wanted something lite and tasty…something with an air of Springiness (if I may use such a word) to please my palate. This dish incorporates just such a feeling. It has a rich dept of flavor, that is enhanced by the tomatoes, but yet a very lite and pleasing tone with the addition of the asparagus and feta. My family enjoyed it very much and I’m certain you will too.

Thank you Ina Garten–“barefoot contessa, how easy is that?”

Served over long grain orzo, garnished with fresh parsley, oregano, and lemon slices

It just screams ‘Spring’

You will need;  1 1/2 lb cleaned shrimp, leave on those tails, 4 Tbsp olive oil, 1 medium onion-chopped, 1 small shallot-chopped, about 1/4 cup each chopped red and green bell pepper, 5 ounces feta cheese-crumbled, 6 or so asparagus spears, 1/4 cup white wine, 3 cloves minced garlic, 2 tsp tomato paste, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 tsp dried oregano, salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste, 3 Tbsp fresh parsley-finely chopped, 1 tsp lemon zest,  1 lemon, sugar (optional) perhaps about 1/2 to 1 Tbsp.

Preheat the oven to 450. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a heavy oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion, shallot, bell peppers and saute for about 10 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or 2 more. Add the white wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any of those lovely bits in the pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the wine is reduced by one half. Add the tomatoes (including the liquid), tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Let this simmer over medium-low heart for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Now at this point, I did a little taste so as to adjust the tartness of the tomatoes. Personally I’m not a fan of that pure tart tomato paste, so I sprinkled in a little sugar, stirred, tasted, and continued to adjust until I felt that the sugar cut the acidity of the tomatoes to my liking. You will know according to your palate.

Place the shrimp on the asparagus/tomato mixture, sprinkle on the feta. Prepare the fresh bread crumbs by mixing them with the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil, lemon zest and parsley. Sprinkle over the shrimp. Bake for 15 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Squeeze on the lemon juice and serve over rice or as did I…over orzo.  You can eat it as is, but rice or pasta is a nice accompaniment.

 Here’s how I went about it;

Chooped shallot, onion, red and green bell peppers, garlic and asparagus

Heat  2 Tbsp of the olive oil and everything into the pan except the garlic

Added the garlic and cooked for a minute or two more…you’ll know when that garlic gets nice and fragrant

Added the white wine, simmer and reduce by one half

In go that lovely asparagus

Diced tomatoes

Tomato paste

Dried oregano—it added a more intense flavor than fresh oregano

Let it simmer

Arrange the shrimp on top

Sprinkle on the feta

Making the bread crumbs. 4 slices of bread with crusts cut away

Into my mini chopper. I’ve had this thing over 20 years.

Voila! Fresh bread crumbs

Mixed the bread crumbs with 2 Tbsp olive oil, the lemon zest and chopped parsley

Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top

I had a few extra shrimp, so what better way to top it off? Besides, I always cook with love

Into our awaiting oven, bake for 15 minutes until the shrimp are cooked and the bread crumbs are golden brown

15 minutes later and this is what we have

That’s Amore…

Add a squeeze of lemon

Dig in!

Roasted Shrimp and Asparagus

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