Shrimp Sizzled In Marcona Almond And Preserved Lemon Pesto
Not every good meal needs to be complicated. A well-stocked pantry and a couple of fresh ingredients can work wonders on any given night. That’s when I am thankful for the random purchases I see in my pantry but rarely touch. Take for instance my Marcona almonds. How different were they from the other 10 varieties of nuts already occupying prime real estate in my kitchen? And then there was the jar of preserved lemon I purchased in one of my Moroccan moments.
Over the weekend, my husband bought beautiful shrimps – perhaps 16 pointers (meaning 16 pieces to the pound). With the sweetness of the shrimp, the Marcona almond would lend an additional sweetness and a flavor that hints at marzipan. To balance the flavors, I reached for the preserved lemon – not to add sourness from which it both matured and out-grew, but rather, for that lemony-depth. The 2 pantry ingredients became a play-on pesto in my mind and now all I needed was some fresh greens, garlic and olive oil. For the greens, parsley would make for a perfect reunion.
With a little pounding from my pestle, the pesto came together with full-on personality. I seared-off the shrimp and then finished them in my sauce of Marcona and Preserved Lemon Pesto. Dinner was fast and easy, yet just a couple of pantry items made it feel luxuriously exotic.
Recipe for Shrimp Sizzled In Marcona Almond And Preserved Lemon Pesto
½ pound shrimp, with tails on and de-veined
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. clarified butter
10 pieces of Marcona Almonds
1 tbsp. preserved lemon, finely chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
Salt to taste
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1) Pound all the ingredients with a mortar and pestle
1) Marinade the shrimp with the salt, paprika and clarified butter
2) Sear off on high heat in a sauté pan to get a golden crust (1 minute each side)
3) Finish cooking for another 3 minutes in the pesto
*this dish is great served with a baguette to lap up that pesto