Gremolata was my inspiration for this dish. A gremolata is an uncooked condiment made up of finely minced garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Traditionally it is served over Ossobucco alla Milanese, an Italian dish of braised veal shank. The mission of the gremolata is to wake up and brighten the flavors in a dish. It livens up heavy meat dishes and works wonderful as a garnish for seafood, fish and vegetables.
This recipe comes together quickly and everything goes well together. Grilling the romaine gave it a unique, earthy taste. The shrimp are tender, succulent, and vibrantly fresh-tasting with the gremolata. The velvety Polenta was wildly fragrant from the fresh rosemary and had a little bite from the Parmesan that complimented the shrimp and romaine. It melted in my mouth. The shrimp and romaine would make a great meal on their own. The shrimp served over rice or pasta would be equally delicious. The shrimp is the real star of the show here. If you’re a shrimp lover than this one’s for you!
Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Parmesan Polenta with Grilled Romaine
2 Romaine heart bunches, each heart cut into thirds or quarters, lengthwise
1 cup Polenta(long-cooking) or cornmeal*
2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary, rough chopped
2 tablespoons Butter
1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan or Romano
1 yellow onion, diced
olive oil for sauteing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine(optional)**
1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough-chopped
lemon peel, fresh grated from 2 lemons
1 and 1/2 pounds Shrimp, medium or large, cleaned
Parmesan, for serving
Cook the Polenta according to package directions. Turn off heat and stir in the rosemary, butter and Parmesan.
For the shrimp:
To a large skillet or saute pan add the oil and onion. Cook over low heat until translucent.
Add garlic and saute for two to three more minutes. **If using wine add it now and bring to a simmer. If not using wine add a tablespoon of olive oil. Then add the parsley, lemon peel and shrimp all at once. Saute until shrimp turn pink and curl up.
For the Romaine:
Grill the Romaine bunches briefly in a grill pan, on your outside grill or on a George Foreman grill. Sear each side. You don’t want to cook it through until it is limp.
Place a few spoons of Polenta on a plate, a Romaine bunch on top and then the shrimp. Serve with extra Parmesan.
*A regular grind cornmeal can be substituted.
1 cup cornmeal
8 cups water
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
In a large, deep pan over high heat bring water and Sea salt to a boil. Gradually stir in cornmeal.
Reduce heat and simmer very gently, stirring frequently, use a long handled spoon, mixture may bubble, for about 35 minutes.