Lauren's Shrimp with White Beans and Garlic Toast

Quick Weeknight Meals Recipe Contest 2009

Recipe: Shrimp with White Beans and Garlic Toast
How long does it take? 20-30 minutes
Category: Omnivore
Name: Lauren
Why is it a favorite meal? This meal is healthy, it's fast and it uses ingredients I almost always have on hand. Best of all, it's delicious and impressive looking so if a friend stops by unexpectedly, I don't have to scramble to hide the PB&J sandwich or bowl of cereal I'm eating

Shrimp with White Beans and Garlic Toast


2 15.5 ounce cans of great northern beans or cannellini beans (I often mix the two)
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)
12 large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (defrosted is fine)
Olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
5 or 6 cloves of garlic
2 or 3 pita breads
Approximately 3/4 cup of fresh diced tomato
A few big handfuls of washed baby spinach
Approximately 8 fresh basil leaves chiffonaded (is that a word?!)
1 lemon
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, paprika
Optional: Pine nuts


For the Shrimp and Beans:
Rinse and drain the two cans of beans. Dump the beans into a large skillet set over low heat. Add a few tablespoons of chicken broth (you can add more as needed), salt, pepper, and a bit of the fresh rosemary, if desired. Keep the bean mixture over low heat until it's warmed through.

Meanwhile, wash the shrimp, pat them very dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Get a pan screaming hot, and coat the bottom with olive oil. Cook the shrimp in small batches and transfer them to a plate to stay warm. I used monstrously large shrimp and ended up cooking them about 2 minutes/side.

Once you finish with the shrimp, add a bit more olive oil to the same pan. Dump in the onion and sauté until it begins to soften. Then add in 2 or 3 diced cloves of garlic, salt, pepper and a bit of red pepper flake (amount will depend on how spicy you like your food).

After a few minutes, add in the diced tomato. Let some of the liquid cook out (2-3 minutes) and then add in your handfuls of spinach.

Let the spinach wilt and then add in the basil, the juice of half a lemon and a bit of lemon zest (use your microplane grater for this).

Let the spinach/onion/tomato mixture cook for a minute or two longer, then mix it into the big skillet with the beans. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, and mix in pine nuts if desired.

For the Garlic Pita Toast:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut your pita breads in and then in half again so you have four little half-moons for each piece of pita.

Brush each half-moon with olive oil, then rub it vigorously with smashed garlic cloves. I like to keep the garlic on the bread for extra flavor.

Sprinkle the bread with salt, pepper and a bit of paprika for color.

Place the pita bread on a baking sheet and cook for about 10-12 minutes, until the bread is nice and crispy.

To Serve:
Spoon bean mixture in to bowls and top with a few of the shrimp (or, if you use ginormous shrimp as I did, 2-3 shrimp will probably suffice!)
Eat with pita bread.
Beware of lingering garlic breath.

Thanks Lauren, and good luck! Readers, give Lauren a thumbs up if you like this recipe!

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