Herb Smothered Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta features soft cheesy Polenta topped with plump shrimp in a fresh herb-lemon-garlic-oil dressing. Quick and easy.
I loved the herb dressing I used for Chicken With Herb Garlic Lemon Smear so much that I decided to try it with shrimp. It definitely worked. The only difference was the herbs I used. I wouldn’t try sage, rosemary or thyme for shrimp – too overpowering. Parsley, basil, tarragon or dill are best I think. I used a combination of parsley and basil.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the more common shrimp and grits – hugely popular in southern USA. Grits are essentially the same as Polenta except they are made from white cornmeal called hominy instead of yellow cornmeal. So feel free to use either. Regardless, the combination of juicy plump shrimp, garlicky-lemony-herb-y smear and smooth Parmesan Polenta is really good! And the whole dish in 15 minutes – even better!
Tailor To Your Taste
- Choose the herbs you like best and that complement the shrimp well.
- I used a shortcut with instant Polenta, but you can, of course, make it from scratch (add 30-40 minutes). Here’s a recipe for Parmesan Polenta.
- You can substitute grits for the Polenta.
- Add some spice with red chili flakes in the herb dressing.
- I used very small white Pacific shrimp for this recipe (90-130 count), but medium would be fine too. Even large (perhaps cut them in half). For medium or large shrimp, you can roast them at 425F for 5-7 minutes depending on the size, instead of sauteing them.
- Finish with a drizzle of olive oil if you like.
Make Ahead Herb Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta
- The herb dressing can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for a day or two.
- The Polenta can be made a couple of hours ahead. Just add some water and heat gently, stirring, until it becomes soft and smooth again.
Herb Smothered Shrimp Over Creamy Polenta Recipe
- 1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined (small or medium size)
- 1 tbsp oil (or half oil, half butter)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs, packed eg parsley, basil, tarragon and/or dill
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tsp minced or grated garlic
- 1 lemon (zest plus 1 Tablespoon juice)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup instant Polenta/Cornmeal (1 minute or quick cooking)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- MAKE HERB DRESSING: Finely chop herbs and green onions. Stir together with other dressing ingredients except oil. Slowly whisk in oil. ALTERNATIVELY (I do this): put all herb dressing ingredients in a processor and pulse to blend well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- SAUTE SHRIMP: Rinse and pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Make sure they are dry. Heat oil (or oil-butter combination) in non-stick pan to medium high until sizzling. Add shrimp. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes, turn over, then saute for another 1-3 minutes, depending on size of shrimp. Don't overcook. They're done when they turn opaque (pink or white). TURN OFF HEAT. Add herb dressing and stir to coat. Cover and keep warm while you make Polenta.
- MAKE POLENTA: Follow directions on package. I use 1/2 cup instant Polenta (for 2-3 servings) plus 2 1/4 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. (My directions were to boil water and salt. Stir in Polenta slowly, stirring constantly. Cook for about a minute or until thickened.) Remove from heat and stir in butter and Parmesan cheese. If too thick, add a bit more water and stir.
- SERVE: Spoon Polenta into bowls or plates. Top with shrimp and serve.
Here’s a vegetarian dish you might like with Polenta: