Kitchn Love Letters

I Would Swim in This Garlicky Shrimp Dish If I Could

updated Jan 28, 2021
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Credit: Nicole Rufus

I’m one of those people who loves preparing elaborate, over-the-top meals no matter how long it takes me. I relish in the slow building of flavor and watching everything come together step by step. But I’m only human, and so of course there are times when cooking is the last thing I want to do. On those days, I turn to recipes that are full of flavor but quick to pull together. Enter: Yasmin Fahr’s garlicky sautéed shrimp with creamy white beans and blistered tomatoes, inspired by the Spanish tapas dish gambas al ajillo.

While shrimp is obviously the center of attention here, it’s really the garlic that makes this dish sing. I firmly reside in the camp of the limit does not exist when it comes to garlic, and honestly, anyone who says otherwise must be questioned immediately. Yasmin’s recipe starts by having you grate or mince four cloves, and thinly slice another one. The minced garlic is used in the marinade for the shrimp, and the sliced garlic is added to the pan while the shrimp is cooking. Needless to say, I appreciate this double dose of garlic.

Credit: Nicole Rufus

After cooking the tomatoes until the skins begin to pop, you’ll add the shrimp and the marinade, followed by the white beans and sliced garlic, and sauté until the shrimp are just cooked through. When I tell you I dove into the skillet the second it was done, I’m not exaggerating. I stood over the pan for far too long, spooning bites into my mouth before I decided to actually put it on a plate. I was torn between whether to eat it with bread or pasta, but the speed of toasting a slice of bread won out in my hurry to eat more shrimp as quickly as possible.

I’ve eaten a lot of garlicky shrimp dishes in my lifetime, and I can confidently say this one’s the best. There’s something about the creaminess of the white beans melting into the bread, combined with the juicy, blistered tomatoes that takes it above and beyond. Honestly, it’s just as good if not better than most of the project recipes I make — and this one takes a mere 20 minutes.