Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp
Shrimp are one of the most forgiving proteins you can cook. You’re not likely to undercook or overcook them. They finish in a flash, turning bright pink within minutes. Basically, they’ve got a built-it indicator to let you know when they’re done. And if you buy them pre-peeled at the supermarket, you can use them without any prep at all.
So, shrimp make for a perfect weeknight meal. You can have them countless ways — stir-fried in the Asian way, with loads of garlic and white wine for an Italian taste, or plump and plain with cocktail sauce. But I didn’t think to actually roast them until I came across Melissa Clark’s recipe in the New York Times a couple of years ago. She combines broccoli and shrimp with spices, and throws the whole thing in a hot oven. It’s done in 30 minutes. Easy peasy.
Funny enough, despite years of thinking about it, I didn’t make this dish until a couple of nights ago when my wife came home with some fine-looking specimens, and we had a couple heads of — you guessed it — broccoli in our CSA box. But Kristen wasn’t so sure about roasting the little guys.
“It sounds dry,” she said.
I had to convince her that it wasn’t anything some olive oil couldn’t solve, as it usually does for any dish. They turned out beautifully. On a chilly night in LA, this made for a quick and tasty dinner. I’ve always loved roasted broccoli. Add some juicy shrimp, fragrant with Middle Eastern spices like cumin and coriander, and it’s a winner you’ll come back to again and again.
Recipe: Roasted broccoli and shrimp (adapted from Melissa Clark)
Not only does this dish come together super fast, you’ll only dirty one baking sheet and a bowl (and maybe a small pot if you add rice). Make sure to spice with a generous hand here. If you can’t actually smell the cumin and coriander as you’re making this, add more.
2 pounds broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
5 tablespoons (about 1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping teaspoon ground coriander
1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined (I like my shrimp with tails intact because they look prettier and they taste better that way)
zest from 1 large lemon
lemon wedges, for spritzing
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a large baking sheet, toss the broccoli with 3 tablespoons oil, coriander, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and chili powder. Mix well with your hands (I love getting dirty in this way) and spread broccoli in a single layer.
In a bowl, combine shrimp, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Roast broccoli for 10 minutes. Add shrimp to baking sheet and toss gently with broccoli (hands, people, hands). If the broccoli looks a bit dry at this point, add a couple glugs of olive oil to moisten things up. Roast for another 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until the shrimp are just pink and broccoli is tender and begins to brown around the edges. Squeeze lemon juice over shrimp and broccoli just before serving. Add on top of rice if you so desire.