It’s late winter and I need a blast of something with a really fresh taste. In this dish of Seared Shrimp with Warm Winter Greens, the flavors are built by quickly sautéing bitter greens in chipotle butter and topping them with seared shrimp. It comes together quickly and is perfect for a weeknight because it only needs one pot.
I decided to make this dish when I saw sustainably raised shrimp for sale in Whole Foods. Unfortunately, many shrimp are produced in unhealthy conditions. In many countries, they overcrowd the shrimp ponds with as much as 89,000 pounds of shrimp per acre. By comparison, traditional shrimp farms yielded up to 445 pounds per acre. Because the water is overcrowded with shrimp, it’s quickly polluted with waste, which can infect the shrimp with disease and parasites.
This is why it is important to only buy either wild shrimp or responsibly farmed shrimp. At Whole Foods, the Responsibly Farmed label indicates the shrimp has been farmed without destruction of sensitive ecosystems such as mangrove forests. The shrimp are tracked from pond to store to ensure the standards are met. They are never treated with preservatives. Instead, they are flash frozen to maintain the “good shrimp” flavor and texture.
Shrimp are full of nutrients. Four ounces contain over 100% of the daily value for selenium, over 75% for vitamin B12, over 50% for phosphorous, and over 30% for choline, copper, and iodine. But it’s important to find a good source.
If you can’t find good quality shrimp, the recipe can be made with scallops. I buy shrimp here.
Start with room temperature grass-fed butter, I like Kerrygold. Mix it with one chipotle chili in adobo and honey. This is what you’ll use to sear the shrimp and saute the winter greens. Chipotle Chili in Adobo is found in most supermarkets in the section with the Mexican food. If you can’t find it use 1 1/2 teaspoons of chipotle chili powder instead.
I use the slightly bitter winter greens, frisée, radicchio and endive. Frisée is a beautiful delicious vegetable. It’s a member of the chicory family, has a frizzy texture and deliciously bitter edge. Look for fresh leaves that go from green to white. If it’s not available, use escarole or arugula.
Radicchio looks like red cabbage but is much more delicate. It’s bitter taste and wine-red leaves set this vegetable apart from other leafy vegetables. It is found in most supermarkets along with endive. They’re highly nutritious and full of anti-oxidants.
Bitter greens activate specific taste buds that stimulate enzyme production and bile flow, which promotes digestion. I like to say it’s not what you eat but what you are able to digest that determines your health. The better your digestion, the more nutrients you absorb from your food. The high fiber content in bitter greens also helps to eliminate waste through the digestive tract.
Bitter greens like radicchio, endive, frisée, dandelion greens, rapini, kale, and arugula contain phytonutrients that support the liver as it manages cholesterol, balances hormones, detoxifies the blood and metabolizes fats.
A cast iron pan is ideal for this dish. It sears the shrimp nicely without burning them. It is naturally non-stick and provides an even cooking texture. I never use non-stick pans since there is scientific evidence they are toxic to your health. I inherited my cast iron pan from my mother. I think of her with great love every time I use it. It’s old but oh so fabulous. Here is a good one.
First heat half the chipotle butter and sear the shrimp on medium high. Cook for about 4 minutes until they are opaque. Scrape up any of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer them to a plate. Heat the rest of the chipotle butter and saute the greens for 1-2 minutes until they’re wilted. Top greens with the shrimp and serve. It’s that easy.
I hope you can locate some of these high quality, delicious bitter greens and sustainable shrimp so you can bring a fresh blast of late winter taste into your life. And it so easy!Print
Seared shrimp in chipotle, honey butter on top of warm bitter greens.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, minced
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 4 cups frisee, coarsely chopped
- 4 cups radicchio, coarsely chopped
- 1 endive, cored, leaves halved crosswise
- 1 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
- In a small bowl, mix butter together with honey and chipotle until smooth.
- Make sure your shrimp are dry. Season them with salt and pepper.
- Heat a cast iron skillet, on medium high. Add half the chipotle butter and the shrimp.
- Sauté over medium high heat, turning once until opaque, about 4 minutes. Scrape up any of the brown bits from the bottom and transfer to a plate.
- In the same skillet, melt the remaining chipotle butter.
- Add the frisee, radicchio endive, and parsley. Sprinkle with salt. Cook tossing with tongs until the greens are wilted, 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and top the greens with the shrimp.
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