Inspiration for this dish came from a recent trip to Brooklyn.
We arrived late on a Thursday evening and wandered around Williamsburg looking for a spot to unplug our brains, imbibe libations and nosh. Lucky for us, Allswell, a fabulous restaurant with a small menu and good wine list, was waiting to invite us in. We ordered a dish of pesto asparagus with chopped shrimp that was divine. Here, I’ve recreated a version of the meal from my own kitchen.
1.25 lb asparagus, washed and trimmed of woody ends
4 oz pesto, store bought or homemade
2 cups large shrimp, either defrosted from frozen or fresh, shelled and deveined
3 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh basil or parsley to garnish
1) Drain shrimp of any juice or water, place into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons olive oil and a few cracks of pepper. Set aside.
2) Heat oven to broil; arrange asparagus spears in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-tablespoon olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper. Shuffle asparagus to coat with oil mixture.
3) Place baking sheet under broiler near top of oven; bake 3-5 minutes, until asparagus is bright green yet still has crunch. Remove and set aside with foil gently tenting sheet.
4) Heat a cast iron grill pan (optional) to medium high heat. Once pan is hot, place shrimp in pan in a single layer. These will cook very quickly! Just about the time it takes for the shrimp to be placed in the pan, you’ll start flipping the first one’s you put in. Cook shrimp about 1.5 minutes on either side. Sprinkle with a touch of salt and remove from pan to a clean dish.
5) To serve: spread pesto in center of serving platter; arrange asparagus on top and shrimp on the sides. Drizzle with good olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh basil.