Shrimp with Yarrow and Baked Lemon
- SERVINGS: 6 FIRST-COURSE SERVINGS
These butterflied shrimp look very attractive when cooked and they taste sublime. Baking the lemon is a nice technique that somehow does more than warm and sweeten. You can buy dried yarrow in health food stores, but the flavor is very strong. Mark Bittman recommends sticking with fresh yarrow. Substitute: Use dill or bronze fennel leaves, either of which is a fine alternative.
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- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 lemons
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh yarrow leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
- 24 large shrimp—shelled, deveined and cut almost in half lengthwise down the back
- Cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450° and light the grill, if you're using one. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil and garlic.
- Cut the pointed ends from the lemons so they will sit flat, then halve them crosswise. Set them flesh side up in a glass or ceramic baking dish and spoon 1 tablespoon of the sugar on each half. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sugar is melted and the pulp is soft. Preheat the broiler, if using.
- Sprinkle the chopped yarrow inside the shrimp and pinch closed. Brush the shrimp with the garlic oil and season with salt and cayenne. Grill or broil the shrimp 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque. Squeeze some of the lemon juice over the shrimp and garnish with the yarrow sprigs. Serve at once with the baked lemons.
Pair with a Rhône-style white wine like a Roussane. The wine's exotic aromas of peach, apricot and jasmine along with its lush texture should complement the layers of flavorssweet, rich, tangy, grassyin this dish.