You could really serve shrimp & white beans almost anytime of year, except perhaps the dead of summer (unless cold), but this dish is a polite nod to the arrival of spring. Comfy and cozy, the robust stew of beans and tomatoes, topped with spicy shrimp is lifted up by a pesto that has been doctored with mint and lemon. Yum!
Garnish with fresh mint, cut into chiffonade (thin strips)
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, roast the garlic, stirring from time to time, until the skins have charred evenly, about 8 – 10 minutes. Cool and peel.
Transfer the pesto to a blender or food processor and add the garlic, mint, parsley, and lemon zest. Blend until well-combined.
In a mixing bowl, combine two Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, Sriracha, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Add the shrimp and set aside for 15 minutes.
Add the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil to the large sauté pan. Heat over medium heat and add the shallots, sautéing until soft and lightly golden, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes and their juices, salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, cooking until liquid is reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add beans and pesto and warm through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
In another sauté pan, cook the shrimp over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. You may need to do this in batches.
Divide the bean-tomato mixture among 6 bowls. Top with the shrimp and garnish with fresh mint.
Shrimp is sold in one-pound bags, by size. A one-pound bag marked 16 – 20 contains between 16 and 20 shrimp. The higher the number, the smaller the shrimp.
This can easily stretch to 8 servings with the addition of the third cans of beans and of tomatoes, especially if you are using the smaller size shrimp (and therefore have more per pound).
Makes great leftovers, but you may want to add a little liquid if the beans have soaked it all up. Broth, tomato juice, white wine, or even a little water. Whatever you have on hand will work.