I simply love entertaining and having company fill the house. The buzz of new voices gathered round the dinner table after preparing a meal together always makes my heart happy. This past weekend was no exception as we had two very dear friends visit for the weekend. From darting about the county to participate in the local barn tour to watching an evening storm blow in on the front porch, the weekend was filled with great conversation and company. And tonight, I find myself able to pass a quiet evening alone – the company has gone; my sweetie is off on a business trip. I am sitting outside on my patio under the pergola enjoying the quiet of the summer evening – the birds chirping, hummingbirds at the feeder, the fountain softly gurgling ….. my little slice of peace and tranquility. This evening called for something quick and simple that I could enjoy outside in the evening air. I am staying away from unhealthy carbs and wine for a few weeks to give my little alcohol, carbohydrate soaked body a break from all the clutter. Giving up pasta for me is no small feat but I was up for the challenge and now surprisingly find myself on day 12 of this effort (although if a crunchy baguette walked by right now I am not sure I could resist). And fear not, just a few more days until I resume my carb and wine laden diet! So with that in mind, I whipped up this incredibly simple yet healthy and tasty toss of shrimp, spinach, tomatoes and garlic. This dish literally takes 15 minutes start to finish and is so adaptable. Serve over pasta or rice; with crusty bread and a green salad; add basil or oregano; peppers or fennel. And be sure to add some Bocelli quietly playing on the iPod. A quick and delicious way to end the day.
With that, I return to the sounds of silence as my typing is disturbing the hummingbirds. And Carl and Weggie, thanks for a very fun weekend!
Shrimp with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and peeled
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 plum tomatoes, roughly diced
Crushed red pepper (optional)
About 3 cups baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
1. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add in the shrimp and cook until just cooked through, turning half way through – about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a bowl.
2. Add in the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until lightly browned. Add in the tomatoes and hot pepper flakes if using. Simmer until tomatoes begin to break down and incorporate – about 5 minutes. Add in the spinach and stir until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the shrimp back into the pan and warm over medium heat just until warmed through.
4. Serve in bowls with crusty bread to absorb all that great juice.