Right before the quarantine, I made my big purchase for work. This included 4 pounds of shrimp, 20 pounds of chicken, 4 pounds of bacon, and 8 pounds of pork shoulder. It supposed to be for a group of 35 people and now it was all for me and my husband. In an effort to finish the first two pounds of shrimp, I decided to whip up a quick pantry dinner using the seafood. A little of this and a little of that and here we are with herby shrimp with tomato shallot sauce. Inspired by Alison Roman's famous caramelized shallot pasta, I took that idea and used caramelized shallots to make one flavor bomb of a sauce. Top it with seared shrimp, a lemon herb oil, and some crusty bread and we have one delicious dinner.
Herby Shrimp with Tomato Shallot Sauce
Lemon herb oil
- ¼ cup parsley
- ¼ cup basil
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- juice of ½ lemon
- ¾ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 lb shrimp peeled, deveined
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 6 shallots thinly sliced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ½ cup white wine
- 14 ounces canned tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 14 ounces cannellini beans drained
- salt and pepper
- crusty bread for serving
- Make the lemon herb oil. Blend together ¼ cup parsley, ¼ cup basil, ¼ cup cilantro, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, the juice of ½ lemon, and ¾ cup olive oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saute pan. Sear the shrimp until pink and cooked, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In the same pan, heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and saute until caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup tomato paste and ½ cup white wine, stirring to combine. Add 14 ounces of canned tomatoes and 1 teaspoon fresh thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the cannellini beans and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Add back the shrimp and drizzle the lemon herb oil on top. Serve with crusty bread.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Don't you love it when you think of a dish and you just happen to have all of the ingredients? Hopefully, this applies to you for this herby shrimp with tomato shallot sauce recipe. I wanted to keep it relatively basic with ingredients that you can easily swap out. For instance, the lemon herb oil can easily be adapted to what you have on hand. I used a combination of parsley, basil, and cilantro but you can use only one or two of the three. Feel free to also swap out the lemon for lime. Blend all of the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper, and set aside for later.
For the main dish, I like to sear the shrimp first to avoid having more than one pan to wash later. Cook the shrimp, remove from heat and wipe the pan clean for the shallots. Caramelize the shallots in a good amount of olive oil until they are a deep brown and almost jammy.
Then, add the tomato paste, white wine, canned tomatoes, and fresh thyme and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes. You can also substitute the fresh thyme for dried, use Italian seasoning, or go for some oregano. Don't have any white wine? Use red instead or skip it altogether.
Finish the sauce by adding the cannellini beans and letting it simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add the shrimp, drizzle on the lemon herb oil and serve with crusty bread. It's almost imperative to serve this with bread so soak up all that beautiful sauce.
I have to say, for some basic ingredients, this herby shrimp with tomato shallot sauce tastes like a fancy meal. And yes, I did lick my plate clean.
For more shrimp inspiration check out these green curry shrimp cakes!