Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Shrimp scampi with fiddleheads

I knew I wanted the garlicky comfort of a few shrimp done up as scampi last night, but I was lost for what to cook them with until I got to Whole Foods. The fiddlehead ferns waiting in their basket struck me as perfect isomorphs of the spiraled shellfish.

The flavors sang together as if fiddleheads and shrimp had more in common than their shape. I had switched them in for asparagus, the original vegetable in the recipe below (adapted from The Boston Globe), and I'd happily call on them again next spring.


1/4 lb shrimp, butterflied and deveined with the tails on
1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
12-15 fiddleheads
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
salt and black pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used sauvignon blanc, since we had it open.)
juice and zest from 1 lemon
chili powder to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley

1. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a sauté pan and set over high heat. When the oil just begins to smoke, add half of the shrimp and cook, without moving, until they begin to turn opaque, about 1 minute. Quickly turn the shrimp and cook until fully opaque, about 45 seconds longer, and transfer to a bowl.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan, place over medium-low heat, and when the butter has melted, add the garlic and fiddleheads and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about a minute.
3. Add the wine and a teaspoon or so of chili powder and stir to blend.
4. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the pan, add the parsley, season with salt and black pepper to taste, and stir to combine.

Yield: 2 servings

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