We are in the throes of a major infatuation with these awesome little peppadew peppers. Geez, are they good. If you haven’t tried one, they’re the most perfect little bite of sweet and spicy you can imagine. We were first introduced to them a few months ago when our cousin shared some they had picked up at Trader Joe’s. Oh, man, were they good.
Trader Joe’s has since discontinued them, but they’re still available at the olive/salad bars in lots of grocery stores… I found them at Whole Foods. And you can, of course, order them online. My advice is whatever it takes, you must find yourself some peppadews!
We’ve eaten them straight from the jar and I’ve stuffed them with herbed goat cheese, which was totally delectable, but I felt they deserved a dish that would more awesomely showcase their deliciousness. It seemed a no-brainer to pair them with shrimp, and in the end, this is what I came up with…. a lovely mélange of sweet and spicy (peppadews), salty (capers and kalamata olives)and creamy (feta cheese), which I must say hit all the flavor notes just right.
It’s a simple recipe, really. No need to muck about and get complicated here. You can throw this one together in the time it takes your rice to cook. And you really must use jasmine rice (does that sound bossy?). Part of the beauty of this dish comes from the mingling of that aromatic rice with the flavors of the sauce…really rather scrumptious.
Peppadew Shrimp with Jasmine Rice
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 large shallots, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced peppadew peppers
1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chopped baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup good quality feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped chives
cooked jasmine rice
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Toss the shrimp with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the shrimp for about 5-6 minutes or until they are just turning pink (do not overcook). I do this in my toaster oven. Set the shrimp aside while you assemble the rest of the dish.
Saute the minced shallots in the extra virgin olive oil until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the olives, capers and peppadew peppers and saute for a couple of minutes to heat through. Add the wine and simmer until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Toss in the shrimp and the spinach and a little salt and pepper. Heat through until the spinach is just beginning to wilt. Serve immediately over jasmine rice, topped with a sprinkling of feta cheese and chopped chives.
Note: I prefer to roast the shrimp separately rather than cooking it in the pan. I think that roasting it brings out a little more of the sweetness and shrimp flavor.
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