SERVES 2 TO 3
This is a really simple first course to prepare. You can cook most of it in advance and then just reheat the fennel, add the shrimp, and sauté it all together. I serve it in bowls with lots of crusty bread to soak up all the garlicky juices.
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 cup chopped fennel bulb, fronds reserved
3 tablespoons minced garlic (9 cloves)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound (16- to 20-count) shrimp, peeled with tails on
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon Pernod (optional)
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
French bread for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat. Add the fennel and sauté for 5 minutes, until tender but not browned. Turn the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook at a very low sizzle for 2 to 3 minutes, until the garlic just begins to color. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, add them to the pan, and toss together with the fennel and olive oil. Spread the shrimp in one layer and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes on one side. Turn the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes on the other side, until they’re pink and just cooked through. Off the heat, sprinkle with parsley, 1 tablespoon of chopped fennel fronds, the Pernod (if using), the fleur de sel, and black pepper and serve it with bread to soak up all the pan juices.
Garten, Ina (2012-10-30). Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust (Kindle Locations 961-968). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.