This one’s perfect for a light lunch and looks great in smaller bowls — don’t hesitate to greedily run the shrimp through the pea puree — but it’s equally beautiful spread out on a serving plate for your guests. Make the peas ahead of time, light the grill and enjoy a beer in the sun while this simple lunch comes together effortlessly.
1 head garlic
extra virgin olive oil
2 packages frozen peas
2 tbl. unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper
6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 lb. shrimp
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Run a knife through the top of the garlic head to expose the cloves. Set the garlic on a square of aluminum foil and rub the exposed cloves with a bit of olive oil. Wrap the foil packet and roast the garlic for about an hour or so, until nicely softened. Allow the garlic to cool.
Hit a sauce pan with the frozen peas, 1 cup of water, the butter and a good three-fingered pinch of coarse salt. Bring the peas to a gentle simmer and let them hang out for 5 minutes or so until warmed through and crisp-tender. Strain the peas, being sure to reserve the cooking liquid. Turn the strained peas out onto a baking sheet in a single layer to cool.
Divide the peas, placing half in a food processor. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid and give it a few pulses. Puree until smooth, adding a tablespoon or more of cooking liquid as necessary.
In a mixing bowl, combine the puree, roasted garlic cloves and a turn or two of olive oil. Whisk together and season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Prepare an outdoor grill over medium-high heat. In a mixing bowl, combine the shrimp, the leaves from the thyme sprigs and a bit of olive oil. Season aggressively with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Gently fold together the shrimp and their seasonings. Grill the shrimp, turning once or twice, until pink, firm and nicely marked, about 5 minutes.
Using the back of a spoon, spread a bit of puree at the bottom of a plate or bowl. Top with whole peas and shrimp. Finish with a bit of flaky sea salt and some olive oil.
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