Spring is in the air, and it’s only March. And what better way to celebrate the nice weather we been experiencing the past couple of days than with a real taste of spring — asparagus.
The following is an easy saute in which asparagus is combined with shrimp for a delicious dish that can be made in less 30 minutes. Served with a salad, a side of rice or over pasta, this recipe is sure to be one that you will reach for each and every spring.
Garlic Lemon Shrimp with Asparagus
1 pound shrimp, medium to large, peeled and deveined
¾ teaspoon kosker salt (to taste)
Black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, sliced thinly
¾ pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off and cut into 2 inch lengths (about 2 cups)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
½ teaspoon cornstarch
Place shrimp on paper towels and dry very well.
Sprinkle shrimp with a bit of the salt and pepper.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel off strips of the lemon peel and then cut the strips into very thin long pieces; be sure to peel only the yellow part of the peel, not the bitter white part.
Cut lemon in half and juice it into a small dish, removing seeds.
Heat a deep 12-inch skillet (preferably not nonstick) over medium high heat for 1 minute.
Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat until it’s shimmering hot — just a few seconds.
Add the shrimp in a single layer and do not disturb it; let cook for about 2 minutes until browned.
Turn shrimp over and brown the other side, about 1½ minutes, then transfer to a plate. Shrimp should not be cooked through.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, stirring for 30 seconds.
Add asparagus, lemon zest strips, red pepper flakes and a bit of salt and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chicken broth and cover, simmering for 1 to 2 minutes until asparagus is almost done.
Stir cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and stir into the pan.
Add shrimp back to the pan and cook another 1 to 2 minutes until done.
Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then taste and add more juice, salt and pepper if needed.
Yield: Serves 3.