Shrimp Scampi with Roasted Asparagus & Fennel, Arugula and Parmesan Salad



by Bart Hopkins


Well, it’s late October and, as I'm writing this, is still on the warm side. Which means white wine and lighter dining is still in fashion. And that means spending less time in the kitchen. A crisp, dry white made from indigenous Italian grapes is always a good choice for lighter dining, and for this we have chosen an easy to prepare menu.

Italian whites that don’t see any or much oak are quintessentially food friendly. Shellfish is a natural good choice for lighter menus and its preparation time is quick and easy. We’ll start with a fennel, arugula and parmesan salad, and follow it with shrimp scampi with roasted asparagus. A nicely chilled Italian white such as a Gavi, Soave, Fiano or Verdicchio will have a refreshing acidity to cleanse the palate, with soft fruit to compliment the many textures and flavors our meal has to offer. Slice some fresh semolina bread and you’re ready to eat!

The salad takes only minutes to assemble; bake the asparagus for 15 minutes in the oven, while the scampi takes about 8 minutes on the stove after about 10 minutes of minor preparations.

The 2006 Marchesi di Barolo Gavi “Le Lune” is our top choice for this meal, pleasantly bitter and delicate with intriguing mineral notes, it provides excellent accompaniment to the zesty flavors of the salad, while its crisp acidity and tangy fruit offers precision and balance to the salty snap of the shrimp and the grassy essence of the asparagus.

Fennel, Arugula and Parmesan Salad

 

Recipe courtesy Gourmet Magazine

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound arugula, stems removed
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (2-ounce) piece fresh Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Remove fronds, stalks, and tough outer layer from fennel.
  2. Halve bulb lengthwise and cut into paper-thin slices with a mandolin or other manual slicer.
  3. Whisk together broth, lemon juice, oil, sugar, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl.
  4. Add fennel, arugula, and onion, then toss together.
  5. Thinly shave enough Parmesan with a vegetable peeler to measure 1/4 cup.
  6. Serve salad sprinkled with Parmesan.

Shrimp Scampi

 

Recipe courtesy Linda Gassenheimer

Ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 12 medium-size garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Several drops hot pepper sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute the garlic for a few seconds, then add the vermouth and tomatoes.
  3. Cook 5 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and parsley, and cook 3 minutes, or until shrimp are pink.
  5. Season with hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper, to taste.

Roasted Asparagus

 

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredeints:

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Snap or cut the dry stem ends off each asparagus and place on a heavy baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss.
  3. Roast until the asparagus is tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

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