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Grilled Shrimp with Wilted Spinach and Fresh Peaches

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The first 2018 Western Slope Peaches reached our Colorado Springs markets early this year, probably because it was unseasonably warm this spring, and the heat continued right into summer...until today.

This recently discovered, nutrient-dense, Tasty Tuesday recipe has been hanging out in my New York Times box waiting for peach season. The ingredient amount are perfect for a generous main course dinner for two, or for a light starter for four or more.

According to John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger, the authors of a brilliant 2012 NYT feature called, Fire Meets Its Match: Spices. Their first principle of spices in general is that spices are best when bought whole, toasted, than ground fresh, as recommended for this recipe.

Toasting and then grinding the recommended spices: peppercorns, coriander, mustard seeds and cardamom pods, used for the rub, helps to even out their flavors so they blend with the mild flavor of the shrimp, served over fresh ripe peaches and tender spinach wilted by a hot mixture of ginger, vinegar, orange juice and curry powder.

Spice rub ingredients for shrimp

1 teaspoon white or black peppercorns, or more to taste

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, or more to taste

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, or more to taste

2 or 3 green cardamom pods, or more to taste

We recommend tasting rubs before using, since you know best how much spice you, your family and friends usually prefer.

1 1/2 pound (extra-large) shrimp, peeled and deveined, with tail left on

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Fresh peaches and wilted spinach

2 or three tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

2 large ripe but very firm peaches, diced medium

1 pound bag of fresh baby spinach


1. Build a fire in your grill; when the coals are covered with gray ash and the temperature is medium-hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above the coals for 3 to 4 seconds) you are ready to cook. (For a gas grill, turn all burners to high, lower cover and heat for 15 minutes, then turn burners to medium-high.)

2. Meanwhile, put the peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and cardamom pods in a small sauté pan and toast over medium heat, shaking frequently to avoid burning, until they begin to darken slightly and you can smell them, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, then grind fine in a spice mill or mortar.

3. Sprinkle shrimp generously with salt and pepper, then rub all over with the spice mixture, pressing gently to be sure it adheres. Set shrimp aside.

4. Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ginger and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute. Add the vinegar, orange juice, curry powder and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

5. Place the shrimp on the grill and cook until just opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes a side. (To check for doneness, cut into one shrimp and peek inside.) Divide the spinach-peach mixture among plates and top each with the shrimp.


Ellen Troyer, with David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff