I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the pinch of not having enough time between holidays this year. Usually there’s a bit more space to catch my breath and re-calibrate after Thanksgiving and before diving into Christmas prep. Not this year. This year I feel like I got back to Brooklyn after a wonderful holiday in Virginia and hit the ground running–it’s time to track down presents, to deck the halls, and to make cookies. As much as I love this time of year (I love it even more than this, which is just one of the Christmas movies my family watches annually), I’m feeling more than a little stressed and pressed. In a mood like this it’s all too easy to turn to delivery for dinner (and oh my heavens, do we ever), though I know that I feel better and even more relaxed when I take the time to make something. To get me to actually cook right now, that something better be simple and quick…and a little healthy wouldn’t hurt, to combat all of the holiday cheer. Enter roasted shrimp and broccoli.
This dish arrived in my life back in the winter of 2009, when two of my favorite bloggers wrote about it, one linking to the other. It came from the NY Times by way of Melissa Clark, and with both The Wednesday Chef and Orangette raving, I was more than ready to give it a try (clearly, I was having a major Wednesday Chef moment back in 2009). I did, and loved it, and agreed with all of the bloggers rhapsodizing about it: it’s delicious and simple and quick (and quick to clean up afterwards), and makes you feel like you’re taking great care of yourself with very minimal effort. Which is about the most we can ask of our dinners, I’d say.
If you’re the kind of person who keeps frozen shrimp around (I am only on occasion, if I’ve recently been to a Trader Joe’s), there’s a good chance you’ll have every ingredient you need for this dish other than the fresh broccoli already on hand. All you need to support the shrimp and broccoli in their starring roles are olive oil, a few spices, a lemon, and maybe some rice to serve it over. Broccoli is tossed with oil, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, and chili powder, then roasted at 425 for ten minutes. While the broccoli is roasting, shrimp is combined with more oil, salt and pepper, and a nice bright hit of lemon zest. The shrimp are added to the broccoli and the combo gets another ten minute roast, with a toss for good measure halfway through. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the whole pan once it’s out of the oven, and you’re done. Veggies, protein, lots of flavor, and only just over twenty minutes of your night. Leaving plenty of time for present wrapping and pinning (and maybe even actually doing–dream big!) Christmas crafts.
I follow the recipe just as written on The Wednesday Chef–right down to eating the whole supposedly four servings between two people in one sitting. Tis the season!