Remember that broccoli post I posted a few months ago? The Best Broccoli of Your Life? It kind of took the world–or, rather, the web–by storm. To prove it, do a Google search for “best broccoli recipe” and marvel at the #1 result. If Google says it’s the best broccoli recipe, then it has to be, doesn’t it? Just like if you Google “best food blogger,” my blog… what? WHAT? Get Google on the phone right now!
I think so many people liked that recipe because it resulted in broccoli with a texture and a flavor few of us were familiar with. Crispy, caramelized broccoli? Not that mushy, frozen stuff? Plus all that lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and Parmesan cheese; it was kind of hard not to love that broccoli. It’s the kind of recipe that’d be difficult to improve upon; that is, until you add shrimp.
The idea of roasting broccoli with shrimp first hit my eyes on my friend Luisa’s blog, The Wednesday Chef. She got the recipe from Melissa Clark of The New York Times and Luisa raved: “What I love is how two fairly pedestrian ingredients are combined with a few smart flavorings to incredible effect.”
I was sold but not entirely sold, then my friend Molly Orangette linked to Luisa’s post and wrote: “make this dish as soon as you possibly can. We made it for dinner the week before last, and it was so perfect that I’m still thinking about it.”
Why all the raves?
Now that I’ve made the dish, I can say: you get all the crispy goodness of roasted broccoli, plus some new intriguing Middle Eastern spices (cumin seeds, coriander seeds), and then–of course–you get shrimp. Plump, juicy shrimp.
It’s a meal in itself and it’s a cinch to make. It’s so cinchy, in fact, that I can summarize the recipe pretty quickly in just a few steps.
Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli
1. Heat the oven to 425.
2. On a large cookie sheet, toss together 2 pounds of broccoli cut up into florets (but not teensy tiny florets, I like a little stem attached), 2 Tbs olive oil, 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (or 1/2 tsp. ground), 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp. ground), 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/8th tsp hot chili powder. Spread into a single layer and pop into the oven for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toss together one pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined, with 2 Tbs olive oil, lemon zest from one lemon, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper (I just eyeball the salt and pepper) in a bowl. When the broccoli’s been in the oven 10 minutes, add the shrimp to the broccoli and toss (carefully.)
3. Roast another 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until the broccoli is “tender and golden around the edges.”
And that’s your dinner!
I served it in a big bowl of rice and squeezed some lemon on top. It was a big hit.