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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oh but for a little green.

I realize that eventually spring will get here.I am also aware that we have to have a winter to have a spring.It the whole circle-of-life thing. I get it. Sadly that picture was only taken about a month ago when Memphis had it's second "snowstorm" and I'll admit it was rather pretty.
This for now is my only green and hope for spring is very much alive.It has been warm enough for some of the bulbs I have planted to make their appearance.The herbs that live on my screen porch (which is encased in thick plastic for a little while longer) long for the heat of the sun,but are starting to grow and break out of their winter coats. Hibernation is for the bears and I'm so looking forward to spring. The farmers market will start up in a few months and fresh,seasonal produce is right around the corner. Thank heavens.

For now this is the only green I have to enjoy and even better this spinach was a dependable stand-in for arugula a few nights ago.The theme for this week's IHCC challenge was Spring Fever. It's also time to vote for the next featured chef and I won't sway the vote,BUT doesn't Rick Bayless seem like a fine choice,I think so.  
Giada is still the featured chef and her recipe for Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil was enough of spring to tide me over for the next few months.
I hope.
I loved this recipe and the meal it made was so bright,fresh and rich. The lemon-infused olive oil was so rich and really brightened the blah shrimp. The spinach gave into the heat and wilted nicely,real nice. The shrimp made it a "meal." It was healthy,rich and hey I didn't feel so bad after eating it.The marinated and baked feta,that's a whole 'nother story,dang fine though. Moving on...
I love fresh lemon.I have made a number of recipes (featured on this quaint little blog). Me and lemon are becoming close friends.
First things first,get that lemon zest infusing in the olive oil.It makes the dish and takes two seconds.
Get the water boiling for your pasta.
Break out the largest skillet you have (or in this case my in-laws had.I made this dinner this past Thursday night and they enjoyed every bite of it. They are sweet,patient people.I wooed them with marinated,baked feta.It will woo anyone.) Brown up the shallots and garlic in some olive oil over medium heat. Next stir in your shrimp and cook until pink,about 5 minutes. This will go quickly so keep up,the shrimp if overcooked will turn into little pink tires and get a little tough to chew.

Add in the cooked linguine,salt and pepper,lemon juice and lemon zest.TOSS CAREFULLY to combine.The biggest skillet in your house might not be big enough (but what this means is you'll have leftovers,yay!)
Turn off the heat. Add in the spinach and that lemon-infused olive oil. The heat of the pan will cook the spinach just enough and allow the olive oil to coat all that shrimpy,linuginey,spinachy goodness. CAREFULLY stir/fold in the spinach.As the spinach mixes in, it will wilt and not be as clumsy in the skillet.(Oh I forgot to mention the shallots and garlic you softened a few minutes ago,the aromas will will sing once that olive oil hits the heat of the pan. Geez.)
Folks really,all I need is the purty mint plants on my screen porch and a plate full of this dish to hold me until spring.I think I shall make it.
Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil
Lemon Oil:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
1 pound linguine
2 TBL olive oil
2 shallots,diced
2 garlic cloves,minced
1 pound shrimp(fresh or frozen thawed),peeled and deveined
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
(from about 2 lemons)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 ounces arugula( I couldn't find arugula,so I substituted spinach.Great substitute)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
To make the lemon oil: 1.Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a bowl and set aside.
For the pasta: 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil,salt it and add the linguine.Cook until tender but still firm to the bite,8-10 minutes. Drain the pasta,reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
2. Meanwhile in a heavy,large skillet,warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink,about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine,the lemon zest,lemon juice,salt and black pepper. Toss to combine. Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Now using a mesh strainer/sieve,strain the lemon oil into the pasta;the zest can be discarded. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Enjoy!


  1. I love that you substituted the spinach in this--it looks and sounds delicious and very spring-like. ;-) Great pick.

  2. This dish has been a big favourite with the IHCCers. Looks delicious! Baby spinach is so handy to have on hand.

  3. I agree with Natashya. This has been an extremely popular dish (probably the most popular) of Giada's recipes and I can see why. I definitely have to try this one. Not only does it look delicious, but it has some of my favorite ingredients.

    P.S. The marinated feta sounds wonderful too!

  4. Yes Kim the marinated feta is so dang good. It's also a fail-safe appetizer when you're standing in the middle of the store and don't know what to make the next night. It'll put on here in the next few weeks.