Shrimp Chimichurri with Blistered Corn, Black Beans and Avocado
Chimichurri, sometimes referred to as “Argentinean barbecue sauce,” is a cross between pesto and vinaigrette: loads of fresh herbs and garlic blended with olive oil, vinegar (or citrus), and a touch of chile heat. It’s used for marinating and drizzling, traditionally with grilled skirt steak and other meats. But it’s also great on seafood, chicken, vegetables and practically anything you can think of that can use a boost of herbaceous flavor and heart-healthy goodness. Plus, it’s a cinch to make. Here it pulls together shrimp, black beans, skillet-seared corn, and a few salad-y-veggies into a dazzling one-bowl meal that just happens to also be gluten-free.
Corn tortillas round out the meal — on the side or for tacos.
Flat-leaf parsley is the main ingredient in chimichurri, although cilantro, oregano, or both, often show up in the mix. Mint, basil, or dill would also be welcome to this party — chimichurri is an excellent vehicle for using up any half-bunch of herbs in the fridge on the verge of wilting. All the ingredients are entirely adjustable to your taste — once you’ve landed on the combo you like, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
Any leftover salad will be great for lunch the next day. But for the freshest flavor, it would be better to add the greens and avocado right before serving. And since the sauce will keep in the fridge for at least a week, and can even be frozen, you won’t regret making a double-batch.
From cookbook author Susan Puckett. Serves 6-8 (Makes about 1 cup of sauce)
· ¾ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
· ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
· 2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
· 2 tablespoons minced shallots
· 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
· 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
· 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
· 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
· 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes (or more, to taste)
· Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Shrimp and vegetables:
· 1 pound large peeled, deveined shrimp (fresh or frozen and thawed)
· 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 teaspoon chili powder
· ½ teaspoon salt
· A few grindings of black pepper
· Fresh kernels from 3 large ears of corn, or 1 ½ cups frozen thawed corn
· 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
· 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
· 1 avocado
· 3 cups baby arugula leaves
· Corn tortillas for serving, optional
1. Make the Chimichurri Sauce: In a medium bowl, combine the parsley, cilantro, oregano, shallot, and garlic. Whisk in the olive oil and vinegar. Season with chile flakes, salt, and pepper to taste. (This may be made a day in advance, refrigerated, and brought to room temperature before serving.)
2. Prepare the shrimp and vegetables: In a medium bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
3. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the corn kernels, pressing down in a single layer with a spatula and allowing them to cook until blistered and golden-brown in some places, about 2 or 3 minutes. Flip, press down again with the spatula, and cook a minute or two longer.
4. Transfer to a large bowl and add the black beans and cherry tomatoes. Set aside.
5. Add the seasoned shrimp to the hot skillet, spreading in an even layer. Cook about 2 minutes on each side just until cooked through.
6. Transfer the shrimp to the bowl with the vegetables. Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed and skin, dice the flesh, and add to the bowl. Toss with ½ cup of the Chimichurri Sauce. Fold in the arugula.
7. If using tortillas, wipe out the skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add the tortillas one at a time and cook for a few seconds on one side until lightly toasted, but still pliable; flip with tongs and cook for a few seconds on the other side, fold over, and remove to a serving dish or basket. Serve with the shrimp mixture and pass any remaining Chimichurri Sauce at the table.