14 April 2015

Mediterranean Green Bean and Farro Salad with Lemon-Garlic Shrimp

I decided to make these two recipes together the other day, and it was a greatmeal.  But you can keep both of these in your back pocket to mix and match (or not) with other things; the shrimp is my standard recipe for adding to pasta with sauteed vegetables, adding to Hoppin' John, or just eating with crusty bread.  And this green bean and farro salad is great by itself, as a side with any other kind of protein, and a perfect salad to bring to work.  

Fast Lemon-Garlic Shrimp

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon sugar
½  teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons butter
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Juice and zest from one small lemon, divided
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped

Make the flavored butter: in a small dish, combine the butter, garlic, red pepper, lemon zest, and fresh parley.  Set aside.

Place the raw shrimp in a small bowl and sprinkle with the sugar and one teaspoon of salt; stir to coat and let sit while you begin the cooking process.  Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.  When it smokes, add the shrimp, carefully making sure each is laying on its side, making full contact with the pan.  Allow to cook without disturbing for 1 minute, then quickly turn each shrimp onto its other side and repeat the process.  The result should be a nice bit of browning on each side of the shrimp without making the inside flesh too rubbery.

Lower the heat and add the lemon juice, scraping the brown bits of the bottom of the pan and stirring them into the juice. Add the flavored butter and stir until melted.  Serve immediately with more lemon wedges on the side.

Mediterranean Green Bean and Farro Salad 

Serves 6

1 cup farro
2 cups water
Zest from ½ lemon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup dry red wine
Salt and black pepper to taste

Combine the farro and water, along with plenty of salt, in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cover.  Cook until tender, about 30 minutes.  Drain, stir in the lemon zest, and set aside.

In another pot or frying pan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and fry it until is becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the green beans, olives, tomatoes, oregano, and about a teaspoon of salt.  Cover and simmer until beans are crisp-tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the red wine and season with more salt and black pepper. Turn off the heat and allow the wine to absorb into the sauce, about 30 minutes.

In a large serving dish, combine the farro and tomato sauce.  Can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or cold.