Rosemary Fennel Shrimp is a unique seafood appetizer or companion to pasta with succulent shrimp, aromatic rosemary, the slight licorice taste of fennel seed and refreshing lemon. Perfect for sharing with love ones with a glass of chilled white wine and crackly French bread.
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One of the more enjoyable elements of cooking is making food for loved ones that causes them to slow down as they take in the flavors and textures. When you love to cook, seeing friends and family enjoying each others company while they share a meal of your creation does the heart good. As enjoyable as it is to cook for others, sometimes making a meal that is just for yourself is a wonderful way to recharge. One of my guilty pleasures that I do once in a billion years is having appetizers and a glass of wine for dinner. Who can beat biting into the crunch of a fresh baguette with a slice of creamy havarti and crisp grapes? Who doesn’t love appetizers? We all have our favorites, the ones that put a smile on our face just thinking about them.
When I created this Rosemary Fennel Shrimp recipe I wanted it to be similar to the beloved classics, but with a twist. The aromatic piney taste of the rosemary with the light licorice flavors of the fennel play so nicely with the zesty burst of lemon. If you are looking for a unique appetizer and you love fennel, then these shrimps are for you.
Tips about Rosemary Fennel Shrimp:
- So you buy some gorgeous uncooked jumbo shrimp and can hardly wait to get them all cleaned up and dressed with the scrumptious flavors. As your unpacking them it hits you. That fishy smell. How do you get the fish smell out and the flavor in? Brining can be the game changer. Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water. Add 2 tbsp sea salt for every lb of shrimp to the water. I also like to add the juice of 1-2 lemons . Add the shrimp to the water with a few ice cubes to keep the shrimp nice and icy cold. Defrost in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Through the power of osmosis the sea salt will help to add moisture back into the shrimp and the lemon juice will help to mellow out the fishy smell.
- For this Rosemary Fennel Shrimp recipe I used dried rosemary and fennel seeds, ground both in a small coffee grinder. If you prefer fresh herbs, use 1 1/2 tbsp rosemary finely chopped and omit the fennel seed. Rosemary on its own is wonderful on shrimp. Fennel just gives it an interesting twist.
- When baking shrimp, place in a single layer to ensure even cooking. If you have a pretty cast iron pan use it to bake the shrimp. It looks great for serving also.
- These handsome little shrimp go beautifully with my Tomato Caper Pasta recipe and a glass of chilled white wine. Add in a loaf of crispy, crackly French bread and you will have a dinner made in heaven.
What to Serve With This Recipe
This Rosemary Fennel Shrimp pairs wonderfully with:
Rice- Serve the shrimp over a bed of short grain brown rice.
Fresh Salad- A crisp, refreshing salad with Lemon Vinaigrette complements the dish.
Crusty Bread- Enjoy the flavorful juices by dipping crusty bread like Sourdough Baguettes into the pan.
Pasta- The shrimp goes beautifully with pasta. Try with Tomato Caper Pasta for a lovely dinner.
Variations of the Recipe
Spicy Kick- Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the marinade for a spicy twist.
Citrus Blend- Experiment with different citrus fruits like orange or lime for a unique flavor profile.
Herb Infusion- Mix in other herbs like thyme or oregano for an herb-infused shrimp dish.
Skewer Variation- Thread the marinated shrimp onto skewers before grilling for a delightful shrimp skewer dish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use frozen shrimp instead of raw shrimp?
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp. Just thaw them completely before brining and cooking the recipe. Adjust brining time to 20-30 minutes.
Can I substitute fresh rosemary for dried rosemary?
Absolutely! You can use fresh rosemary instead of dried. Keep in mind that the flavor intensity may differ, so adjust according to your preference.
Is it necessary to peel and devein the shrimp?
While it’s not mandatory, peeling and deveining the shrimp enhances the overall dining experience.
What if I don’t have a lemon?
You can use lime juice instead of lemon juice in the brine and garnish. However the flavor will be slightly different.
Can I grill the shrimp instead of baking?
Yes, grilling is a fantastic option! Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and cook the shrimp for approximately 2-3 minutes per side until they turn opaque.
How do I store the shrimp?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, gently warm the shrimp in a skillet over low heat to avoid overcooking.
Rosemary Fennel Shrimp
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1- 1 1/4 lb raw jumbo shrimp
- juice of 1-2 lemons
- 4-5 ice cubes
- cold water
- 1/4 olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves *minced or crushed
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed *ground
- 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary *ground
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 lemon *cut into wedges
- garnish with Italian parsley *optional *optional
- For the Brine- Fill a large bowl halfway with cold water. Add 2 tbsp sea salt and the juice of 1-2 lemons . Add the shrimp and a few ice cubes to water. Defrost in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Drain, peel and devein shrimp.
- For the Shrimp- Preheat oven to 350℉. In a medium size bowl combine oil, garlic, rosemary, fennel and salt. Add in shrimp and toss well. Place in a single layer in a medium size frying pan. Bake at 350℉ for 12-15 mins or until shrimp turn from grey to a white/pink color.
- Garnish with fresh squeezed lemon slices and Italian (flat leaf) parsley.