Jumbo shrimp deserve special treatment and big, complementary flavors. When the shrimp are meaty Texas browns and come about 13 to the pound, all you need to do is split them in half lengthwise and run them under the broiler until just opaque.
The vinaigrette recipe comes from chef and cookbook author Sara Moulton, who has been cooking on TV for decades. In a recent episode of "Sara's Weeknight Meals," on PBS, she used it as a sauce on red snapper fillets. So this application isn't such a stretch.
Serve with couscous.
Make Ahead: You'll have some vinaigrette left over; it's great as a dip or as a sauce for a grilled vegetable salad. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 2 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
- For the shrimp
- 1 pound raw, shell-on jumbo (u-15) shrimp
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- 3/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (may substitute 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
- For the vinaigrette
- 1/4 small onion
- 1 large (3/4 pound) tomato, preferably beefsteak
- 1 small red bell pepper
- 1/2 medium cucumber
- 1/2 large clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (may substitute sauvignon blanc vinegar)
- 1/2 cup good-quality olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the shrimp: Position the top oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Use a serrated knife to cut each shrimp lengthwise from the underside almost through to the top of the shrimp, leaving the shell connected on one side. Use the tip of a sharp knife to devein the shrimp. Open them up (butterfly) and place them flat, shell side down, on the baking sheet, making sure they do not overlap. Drizzle with the oil, then sprinkle lightly with the pepper. Broil for about 4 to 5 minutes; start checking after 3 minutes. The shrimp are done when their flesh becomes opaque and the shells turn pink. Transfer to the stovetop (off the heat).
While the shrimp are in the oven, make the vinaigrette: Cut the onion into small dice to yield 2 tablespoons, then place in a small bowl and cover with cool water for 5 to 10 minutes.
Peel and seed the tomato (see NOTE), then cut into 1/2-inch dice to yield about 1 1/3 cups; transfer 1 cup of the diced tomato to a blender and place the remaining 1/3 cup in a small bowl.
Stem and seed the red bell pepper, then cut into 1/2-inch dice to yield 1/2 to 3/4 cup. Transfer 1/4 to 1/2 cup to the blender and add the remaining diced bell pepper to the bowl.
Peel the cucumber, then cut in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out any seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch dice to yield about 3/4 cup. Transfer 1/2 cup to the blender and add the remaining diced cucumber to the bowl. Toss lightly to combine.
Mince the garlic to yield at least 1/2 teaspoon; add to the blender, along with the sherry vinegar. Drain the onion and add it to the blender as well. Puree for about 30 seconds, then remove the center knob of the blender lid and add the oil in a slow, steady stream to form an emulsion. Taste and season lightly with salt and pepper; whir briefly to combine. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid; you should have about 2 cups of vinaigrette.
When ready to serve, divide the shrimp among individual plates. Spoon some of the sauce around the shrimp, then scatter equal amounts of the diced vegetable mixture on top of each serving.
NOTE: To peel a tomato, score an X on the bottom, then drop the tomato into a pot of boiling water. Blanch for 10 seconds, then transfer to an ice-water bath. Peel and discard the skin.
Adapted from a "Sara's Weeknight Meals" recipe by chef and cookbook author Sara Moulton.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.