Garlic and Black Pepper Shrimp

garlic shrimp

Shrimp is one of my favorite seafood—if not my most favorite. I love the texture, taste, and flavor, especially when paired with more pungent ingredients such as garlic and hot pepper. Garlic is one of those ingredients that is almost always present as a flavor base but hardly ever a main ingredient. In the past I've made garlic soup, which used forty cloves, but this time—to take up the Summer Fest challenge of cooking with garlic—I decided to use garlic as a building block in my favorite dish.

The main flavors of this easy shrimp dish are built from garlic. I slice garlic cloves razor thin and lightly sauté them in oil just until soft. I then add hot crushed pepper and black pepper to bring heat and bite to the dish. A touch of white wine creates a nice sauce. The whole dish is finally garnished with lemon zest and parsley for zingy freshness. The recipe is my interpretation of a shrimp scampi, that classic Italian-American dish. But there are no rules for cooking this easiest of dishes—it's most fun when you experiment.

Enjoy this shrimp dish is great as an appetizer or a main course for dinner. It also makes a a nice lunch when paired with a salad. Here I serve it over rice so that all the juices get absorbed. Pasta would also work well, such as linguine. Or try it with a slice of crusty bread. That's usually how I mop up the great wine sauce. What is your favorite shrimp recipe? And what are your favorite ways to use garlic? I hope it's not for warding off vampires.

This summer I'm participating in A Way to Garden's Third Annual Summer Fest. Every Wednesday a summer produce will be the theme. This Wednesday it's garlic. To participate all you have to do is something as simple as leaving a comment or linking to a favorite blog post or informational site. You can share gardening tips, recipes, and/or pictures. Visit the Summer Fest link for more information. Many other blogs are participating and it would be great to see how far the conversation goes.

Garlic and Black Pepper Shrimp

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
white rice, for serving

Warm oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes and black pepper; saute 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook, tossing and turning, until pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until reduced, about 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley. Serve over rice. Yield: 4 appetizer servings or 2 main course servings.