Well, I’m BACKKKK from the most epic vacation ever.
18 days abroad, exploring Switzerland and Italy with Aaron, my sister Rachel, & her husband Peter.
We did some pretty awesome things…. like floating down the Limmat river through Zurich, taking a gondola ride to the top of Mount Pilatus, tobogganing down a slide on the side of said mountain, SUPing in the warm blue waters of the Mediterranean sea, walking through picturesque vineyards in the hills of Tuscany, and of course, eating some AMAZING food.
My absolute favorite was the family run restaurant La Tavernaccia, located in the Trastevere region of Rome.
The food was unreal, and the prices were freaking fabulous! We sprint-walked from the Colosseum in order to make it before lunch ended, and it was worth every second of the inner thigh chaffing that resulted 😉
We ordered a perfectly salty-sweet lardo bruschetta drizzled with honey and sea salt, fresh fruit, wood oven roasted suckling pig with crispy potatoes, pasta all’amatriciana, and 1 liter of white wine, all for 38 euros!! (insert shocked face emoji here) And no joke, it was the best food we had of the entire trip. PLEASE VISIT next time you are in Rome.
But even though we had so much fun traveling, there’s nothing like coming home to your own bed (and kitchen!) and appreciating how awesome your real life is.
Today I’m still battling jet lag, but can’t resist the allure of the kitchen. On the menu this week is some delicious pho, pork chile verde, eggplant & lentils, cobb salad, marinated pork loin, roasted chicken, and a ginormous hodge podge salad. Already went shopping & picked up all the ingredients!
But today, I’m sharing a recipe I whipped up right before we left for our trip.
Roasted Shrimp Salad with Pancetta and White Beans.
The actual prep time is pretty short. The longest step is the 30 minute shrimp marinade, which doesn’t actually require any work. Other than that, it’s just a quick roasting of the shrimp under the broiler (about 5 minutes), crisping up some pancetta, and sautéing shallots until tender.
Toss with some creamy white beans, parmesan cheese, thyme, and lemon, & serve over baby arugula. Finish with a drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and a pop of flaky Maldon sea salt. Simple & delicious (and it goes great with a crusty loaf of bread).
Roasted Shrimp Salad with Pancetta and White Beans
- 1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 3 lemons, halved
- Pinch of kosher salt & ground black pepper
- 5 oz baby arugula
- 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 oz diced pancetta
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Maldon sea salt, for seasoning
- Place the shrimp in a large shallow dish. Pour 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice over the shrimp. Season with a generous pinch each of salt & pepper, and toss to combine. Set in the refrigerator and let marinate for 30 minutes.
- While the shrimp marinates, prep the rest of the salad. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a small nonstick skillet and warm over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook for about 5 minutes, until browned and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta to a paper towel covered plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot and thyme to the pan. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until softened and just starting to get a golden hue. Turn off the heat.
- Place the cannellini beans in a medium bowl. Add the crispy pancetta, sautéed shallots, juice of 1/2 lemon, parmesan cheese, and a pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Taste & season with more salt and pepper as needed.
- Preheat the broiler on high heat. When the shrimp is done marinating, place them on a broiling pan & broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes per side, until bright pink and the flesh has just become opaque. When done, remove from the oven and set aside.
- Next, plate each salad. Divide the arugula up into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with 1/4th of the bean-shallot-pancetta mixture, and 1/4th of the shrimp. Drizzle each bowl with a generous drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon, and a large sprinkle of flaky Maldon sea salt. Serve right away with a hunk of crusty bread.