A spicy scampi-type dish that you can also make vegetarian.
The base of this dish is a flavorful rice, topped with either shrimp or tofu which have marinated in a lemony, garlic, and paprika bath. It has a lot of the flavor of shrimp scampi, with the rice holding its own here. It is easiest enough for a weeknight, or fancy enough for company.
My family will eat any shrimp dish, and if there’s garlic involved, even better. This one is easy with little actual hands-on time. If I have fresh oregano, I might add that at the end. You can vary the seasonings and herbs to your own liking, but keep the garlic and lemon.
The arugula melts into the dish and adds a freshness and color, not to mention extra nutrients. A good alternative to the arugula would be a peppery watercress, or even mustard greens.
I love this on jasmine rice, but you could substitute basmati or any favorite of your household.
Shrimp and Arugula over Jasmine Rice
- 1 lb. raw, wild shrimp
- 6 to 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp. Spanish smoked or sweet paprika
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 cups water
- 1 large onion, small dice
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- Juice of one lemon
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 packed cups arugula (4 oz), chopped up
Peel and clean the shrimp. You can leave the little tail on if you like, or remove it. I think leaving the tail on adds a little more flavor to the shrimp. Put all shells in a small saucepan and set aside. Dry the shrimp.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, and spices. Mix well and add the shrimp. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour to marinate.
Add the 3 cups of water to the shrimp shells and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for a half hour. Strain and set the stock aside.
In a large saucepan, add another tablespoon of olive oil and add the onion. Sauté until softened, then add the rice. Cook this for an additional minute or so, just to coat the rice well, then add two cups of the shrimp stock. You should have a little left, save it.
Bring the rice to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer and cook according to package directions, the cooking times vary greatly. When the cooking time is done, set aside and keep warm. The rest of the dish only takes a few minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium high and when hot, add the shrimp and all the contents of the bowl. Let the shrimp cook about a minute on each side, then add the lemon juice and white wine, salt and pepper, cook another minute or so, or until the shrimp are curled and cooked in the middle. Mix in the butter, add the arugula, stir it up, then remove from the heat and cover. If you want more sauce, add some more of the shrimp stock. Taste for seasoning.
Plate the rice, then add the shrimp on top and garnish with parsley or cilantro.
Substitute a mushroom or vegetable stock for the shrimp stock, and use a firm, pressed tofu as an alternative to the shrimp. Cut the tofu into desired cubes, marinate as for the shrimp, and cook in the same manner.
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