A simple, scampi-inspired dinner that needs neither a lot of time, nor a lot of ingredients. The key is to swiftly simmer the shrimp—done right, these cook in less than 5 minutes—and to rely on extrovert ingredients for seasoning. Lemon juice and lemon zest deliver loads of sunny acidity. So much so that we’re also using water, not stock, to stretch the brightness, and to ensure that there’s enough sauce for bread-sopping. (On that note: A crusty baguette is my go-to here. But what about you? Hot spaghetti, fluffy couscous, or big beans would all work well.) Lots of butter adds richness, and dill, freshness, but prepared horseradish is the overachiever here. Try to find one with a minimalist ingredient list, and enough vibrancy that when you open the jar, you feel like you might sneeze. Adding horseradish at the start builds a savory foundation; adding it again at the end, a kicky zing. And if dill isn’t your thing, so be it. Feel free to swap in parsley, cilantro, or even chives. —Emma Laperruque
- Prep time 5 minutes
- Cook time 5 minutes
- Serves 2
lemons, preferably organic
unsalted butter, divided
prepared horseradish, plus more to taste
large to extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Crusty bread, hot pasta, or whatever starchy thing you want, for serving
- Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon and set aside. Now juice both lemons into a liquid measuring cup—you should get about 6 tablespoons. Add enough cold water to reach 1/2 cup of liquid total.
- Melt 1½ tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of horseradish, the lemon water, and a big pinch of salt.
- As soon as that comes to a boil, add the shrimp and another big pinch of salt. Simmer for 2 to 4 minutes, flipping each shrimp halfway through, until pink and firm.
- Stir in the remaining 1½ tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of horseradish. Taste and increase the horseradish, if you’d like.
- Top with the lemon zest and dill, plus a sprinkle of salt (flaky is nice if you’ve got it), and serve with crusty bread for mopping up the sauce.