In this clever recipe, Jason Stratton of Seattle's Spinasse makes a simple, creamy sauce by simmering toasted pine nuts with lemon zest and chicken stock, then pureeing them. His other smart trick: cooking shrimp on a superhot bed of coarse salt flavored with bay leaves and lemon zest. Best New Chef 2010: Jason Stratton More Delicious Shrimp Dishes

Best new Chef 2010: Jason Stratton
Jason Stratton
July 2010


Credit: © Anna Williams

Recipe Summary

45 mins
1 hr 45 mins


Pine Nut Sauce


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half of the zucchini slices and cook over moderately high heat until browned in spots, about 1 minute. Turn and cook for 30 seconds longer, until barely tender. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper and transfer to a large plate. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of oil and the remaining zucchini.

  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet along with the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is golden, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and boil over high heat until reduced by two-thirds, 5 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a bowl and let cool. Add the parsley and mint and season with salt and pepper.

  • Spoon one-third of the onion mixture into a shallow dish or glass pie plate. Arrange half of the zucchini on top, followed by another third of the onion mixture. Top with the remaining zucchini and onion mixture. Press lightly and drizzle with olive oil. Let the zucchini stand at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 6 minutes, until golden brown.

  • Transfer the pine nuts to a medium saucepan. Add the chicken broth and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the pine nuts are soft, about 45 minutes. Discard the lemon zest. Transfer the pine nuts and broth to a blender and puree. Return the sauce to the pan and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt.

  • Preheat the broiler. In a medium baking dish, toss the coarse sea salt with the bay leaves and lemon zest. Shake the dish so the salt is in an even layer and broil 6 inches from the heat for 3 minutes, until the salt is very hot. Quickly arrange the shrimp on the hot salt and broil for about 2 1/2 minutes per side, until just white throughout.

  • Meanwhile, reheat the pine nut sauce. Arrange the zucchini on plates, drizzle with the sauce, top with the shrimp and serve.

Make Ahead

The zucchini and pine nut sauce can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Sauvignon Blanc is known for having vibrant, citrusy flavors no matter where it's grown, but in northern California, it also picks up some herbal notes—perfect for this fragrant shrimp dish.