Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Lemony Shrimp and Asparagus with Cheesy Polenta

This recipe is the perfect combination of what I love about winter cooking and spring cooking, and it’s great for this time of year when we’re still getting rain in the Bay Area but the daffodils and irises are pushing up.

On one hand you have polenta, which is perfectly cozy and comforting and just what I want slowly simmering on the stove when it’s cold and dark outside. But then you also have bright, springy flavors thanks to shrimp quickly cooked with tender asparagus and some zippy lemon. It’s the best of both worlds!

Lemony Shrimp and Asparagus with Cheesy Polenta 
Serves 4-6 
1 quart chicken broth
1 cup polenta
½ cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup sliced shallots (from 3 large shallots)
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound asparagus, cut into one-inch pieces
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually add polenta, stirring for a minute, before reducing heat to low and covering the saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring the polenta for a minute every 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in the grated Parmesan and lemon zest.

While polenta is cooking, heat olive oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until shallots have softened and started to brown. Add butter to the pan to melt before adding asparagus and cooking for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Remove pan from heat, stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Distribute polenta evenly among bowls, followed by shrimp and asparagus, and then garnish with Parmesan.

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