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Shrimp Scampi on Chiffonade of Romaine with Herbs and Cherry Tomatoes

Serves six

About 1/4 cup safflower or peanut oil
6 to 8 large cloves garlic, quartered or sliced
About 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, cleaned, deveined, tail shells intact, rinsed, drained, and patted dry with paper towels Or count about 5 per person for plated first course
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and spun dry, and cut into chiffonade
1 bunch scallions, roots and damaged leaves removed, sliced thin
About 1 cup whole fresh basil leaves, stems discarded
About 3/4 cup whole fresh dill leaves, stems discarded
About 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, stems discarded
About 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, stems discarded
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
White balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Malden salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 Compari tomatoes, washed, stems removed and halved or quartered for garnish

To prepare

Roll the lettuce leaves as if they were a cigar, cut into very thin slivers and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add scallions and all the herb leaves and toss well to mix. Can be done ahead up to this point and refrigerated until just before serving. Drizzle just enough extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the greens; toss well until they are coated. Divide the mixture of greens on large salad plates and set aside.

To cook shrimp and serve salad

In a large deep skillet over moderate high heat, add safflower oil. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté until pepper is aromatic and the garlic is light brown, watch closely, about four minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic and pepper flakes. Keep oil in skillet, add extra if necessary. Pat the shrimp until dry with paper towels and sauté, just until they are pink and curled, about three to four minutes only. Remove with slotted spoon and immediately transfer to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper, reserved garlic and red pepper flakes on the shrimp. Arrange the shrimp on the greens, garnish with tomato halves or quarters, drizzle hot cooking oil over the whole affair and serve at once.

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