I was craving shrimp recently when I came across this recipe in Food and Wine Magazine. The green-hued, herb-flecked quinoa stopped me in my tracks, and I knew I had to make this ASAP. If you haven’t had quinoa before, you will find that it is a great, healthier replacement for rice in many recipes. Hailed as probably the best plant-based source of protein, it has a delicate nutty flavor that pairs nicely with just about anything.
It was such a hit in my house that I have made it a few times since, and it will definitely be in regular rotation. Pistou is easy to make and freezes well, so you can make a big batch of it, pop it in the freezer, and then take it out when you are ready to use it. I also used a nice smokey pimenton (from World Spice here in Seattle) in the rub for the shrimp, which really knocked this dish out of the park and reminded me of the importance of using the best quality ingredients for every aspect of a recipe.
Quinoa with Spice-Roasted Shrimp and Pistou
From Food and Wine September 2010
1/2 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, chopped
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup canola oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup packed basil leaves
2 tbs flat-leaf parsley
1 tbs fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tbs finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 1/2 cups quinoa
2 1/4 cups water
In a resealable plastic bag, toss the shrimp with the first 6 ingredients, 1 tbs of the oil and 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper until coated. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425. In a food processor, pulse the basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic and cheese. Add 2 tbs of oil; puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
In a saucepan, combine the quinoa, water and the remaining 1 tbs of oil. Season lightly with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the quinoa is tender, about 15 mins. Let stand for 5 mins.
On a baking sheet, roast the shrimp for about 8 minutes, until curled and pink. Cut the shrimp into thirds and add to the quinoa with the pistou. Toss well and serve.