Recipe testing is the culinary equivalent of blind dating. You hear about a hot new recipe and instantly know you are meant to be together. You begin to doodle your initials and “I Heart” on grocery lists and daydream how wonderful your life together will be. You get lost thinking about how intoxicating he will smell and what it will be like when your lips finally meet. Will you be able to control yourself? Or will you just have to go back for more?
Then, the day of the date, you get everything together just so and count down the minutes until the bell rings. Finally, the moment has arrived. You open the door with eager anticipation and there he is. But it’s downhill from there. You want to like him. Really, you do. But despite all the positive things you heard from other people, he’s not what you expected. To put it another way, you’re just not that into him.
That describes my brief relationship with Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp. I first came across the recipe at Orangette and it piqued my curiousity. And then I bumped into it again at The Amateur Gourmet. And in an ‘all roads lead back to Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp instant, I decided that fate wanted us to be together.
Boy, did fate get that one wrong. I can’t say there is any one reason in particular why I don’t love this dish. I know I should. It took all of about five minutes to prep and in less time than it takes for Rachel Ray to drive me to find the remote, the entire meal is done. So it’s quick. And the ingredient list is about as minimal as you can get for a one dish meal…broccoli, meet shrimp…shrimp, meet broccoli. The cooking technique could not get any easier…heat oven, open oven door, insert sheet pan…lather, rinse, repeat.
But seriously, I just am not that into it. Maybe with some different spices, or more of them, I would have that lovin’ feeling. Or maybe it just wasn’t meant to be for me and Broccoli and Roasted Shrimp. Perhaps the two of you would enjoy each other’s company? Let me know how it goes, I love a good blind date story.
Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp
2 pounds broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 1/4 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons oil, coriander, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and chili powder. In a separate bowl, combine shrimp, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Spread broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Add shrimp to baking sheet and toss with broccoli. Roast, tossing once halfway through, until shrimp are just opaque and broccoli is tender and golden around edges, about 10 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges, or squeeze lemon juice all over shrimp and broccoli just before serving.