A simple summer shrimp scampi recipe that's quick and easy, loaded with garlic, and features all of that amazing summer produce. A one-pan recipe that cooks in less than 30 minutes!
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This is a mash up of two recipes that I adapted into one. The basic idea is from a summer scampi with tomatoes and corn from NYT Cooking, but I flipped the script and used Rick Martinez's classic shrimp scampi recipe from Bon Appétit. Then I added a lot more garlic butter sauce into the whole mix.
Truth be told, I can eat corn on the cob slathered in butter just about every day in the summer. Yes, I do think my husband gets sick of it. So, behold this new way to incorporate corn into a recipe and still get all of that butter satisfaction!
And let's not forget about the tomatoes and the basil. If it grows together, it goes together, so you've got all three in this plate of summer sunshine. The garlic sauce from the scampi drizzles down and coats all of the corn and tomatoes, too. It's saucy! And I like it.
- Shrimp: Large or extra large, about 25-35 per pound. You'll want them peeled with tail-on for cooking, but you can choose to buy them already peeled or peel them yourself based on the price.
- Unsalted butter
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- White wine: I like a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc. Nothing too sweet or too heavy. Don't use an expensive wine, but use one you would drink.
- Crushed red pepper
- Fresh corn on the cob: Cutting the corn fresh from the cob makes all the difference in the flavor of this recipe!
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Kosher salt
First, we need to marinate the shrimp.
Add the olive oil and salt to a non-reactive bowl. Using a Microplane grater, grate two cloves of garlic into the bowl, then whisk together.
Add the shrimp to the marinade, toss to combine, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than one hour.
While the shrimp marinates, prep the rest of the ingredients.
How to cut corn off the cob
I learned this trick from Jacques Pepin. The man will teach you everything if you only let him. Use a good knife and start with the part of the blade nearest the handle, and let it glide down the corn toward the point.
Do not set the middle of the blade at the top of the cob and try to slice straight down. You'll get a lot of resistance. The trick is to let the knife do the work like it's supposed to.
Turns out there's a reason that knives are long and shaped the way they are! Different sections of the knife do a different job and they all work together.
Do this over a kitchen towel and let the corn kernels fall onto it. It's still going to spatter all over your backsplash so just accept this and get on with it. Then just pick up the towel and dump the kernels into a bowl and set aside.
Now gather the ingredients you need to make the sauce. Once you start cooking the shrimp, this will go really quick.
Measure the wine and get the butter ready.
Zest the lemon and set aside. Squeeze all the juice from the lemon into a small bowl, and get your red pepper flakes handy.
I like to use little glass pinch bowls like these when I'm prepping to hold ingredients so everything is ready when I need it.
Now for the garlic. I want a LOT of garlic in my shrimp scampi, so I used 8 cloves here. Feel free to use a little less if you prefer. Same goes for the amount of crushed red pepper you add.
I like to slice it thinly because it gets creamy and melty this way, it's not harsh or sharp and it doesn't burn as easily.
Place a large, deep skillet over medium high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cherry tomatoes and let them sizzle until they start to get soft and start to collapse and wrinkly, about 3 - 4 minutes.
You don't want them all to burst open. If that is happening, turn the heat down.
Add the corn to the skillet and cook until it's heated through, about 3 - 4 more minutes. Season the mixture with salt and put it in a serving bowl.
Now it's time to par-cook the shrimp.
In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium. Add the shrimp in one layer and cook until they are just barely pink, about one minute, then flip for one minute more. Quickly remove the shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon or tongs, leaving the oil and juices behind.
Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook until the garlic is softened and fragrant, but not brown, about 2 minutes.
Add the butter, white wine, and lemon juice to the skillet and simmer for about 3 minutes until it thickens slightly.
Put the shrimp back into the skillet, stir to coat with the sauce, and cook for about 2 more minutes until it's cooked all the way through. Stir in the lemon zest.
Pour the shrimp scampi and sauce in the pan on top of the corn and tomatoes. Tear some fresh basil leaves on top. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side.
What is scampi?
Technically, scampi is the Italian word for langoustines which are sort of tiny lobsters, it's not actually the name of the sauce. Languoustines are traditionally cooked in a garlic and white wine sauce.
Shrimp scampi is a creation of Italian-American immigrants who used shrimp in place of langoustines, but used the traditional preparation, so they kept both words. It also has lots of variations, so feel free to riff on it and add your own touches of herbs or veggies like I've done here.
What is scampi sauce made of?
Scampi is a very simple shrimp recipe, the sauce is made with white wine, butter, garlic, fresh lemon, and crushed red pepper.
- For another variation on scampi, try Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Tequila Butter. It swaps the white wine for tequila and the lemon for lime and cooks fast!
- You'll feel like you're sitting in a tapas bar in Spain when you make Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo) You can cook and serve in the same pan.
- If you have leftover garlic shrimp, use them to make Shrimp Salad with Romaine, Cherry Peppers, and Lemon-Garlic Dressing.
Summer Shrimp Scampi with Tomatoes, Corn and Fresh Basil
- 4 ears fresh corn
- 10 oz cherry tomatoes about 1 dry pint
- 1 lb shrimp peeled, tail on
- 10 cloves garlic divided
- 4 tablespoon olive oil divided
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 5 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- juice of one lemon
- zest of one lemon
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- fresh basil torn, for garnish
Marinate the shrimp
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a non reactive bowl. Grate in one clove of the garlic and 1 teaspoon salt and mix together. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and no more than one hour.
Cook the Vegetables and Prep the Sauce
- While the shrimp marinates, prep the sauce ingredients and cook the vegetables.
- Slice the remaining 8 garlic cloves thinly and set aside. Zest and juice the lemon, and set both aside separately. Measure out ⅓ cup of white wine, cut the 5 tablespoon butter, and get a pinch of red pepper flakes ready.
- Place a clean kitchen towel on the counter and stand the corn cob upright. Slice the kernels off the cobs and let them fall onto the towel. Scoop up the towel and dump the kernels into a bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the cherry tomatoes and let them sizzle until they start to get soft and start to collapse and wrinkly, about 3 - 4 minutes.
- Add the corn to the skillet and cook until it's heated through, about 3 - 4 more minutes. Season the mixture with salt and put it in a serving bowl.
Cook the Shrimp Scampi
- Be sure to have all of your remaining ingredients prepped and handy, because this part goes really fast.
- In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium. Add the shrimp in one layer and cook until they are just barely pink, about one minute, then flip for one minute more. Quickly remove the shrimp to a plate with a slotted spoon or tongs, leaving the oil and juices behind.
- Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook until the garlic is softened and fragrant, but not brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add the butter, white wine, and lemon juice to the skillet and simmer for about 3 minutes until it thickens slightly.
- Add the shrimp back into the skillet, stir to coat with the sauce, and cook for about 2 more minutes until it's cooked all the way through. Stir in the lemon zest.
- Add the shrimp scampi and sauce in the pan to the bowl with the corn and tomatoes. Tear some fresh basil leaves on top. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side.
- Don't skip the step of marinating the shrimp. It really adds a lot of flavor, and the shrimp is already seasoned perfectly before it even goes into the sauce. Use a microplane grater to get that finely grated garlic all throughout the marinade.
- I like a LOT of garlic in the sauce! Especially in this recipe, because it gets all mixed in with the corn and tomatoes. If you don't like so much, you can easily cut down on it. 2 - 3 cloves would work fine.
- You don't want the tomatoes to all to burst open. If that is happening, turn the heat down. It's okay if one or two of them burst, but you want them to keep their integrity.
- To cut the corn off the cob, start with the part of the knife closest to your hand, then let the knife glide down the corn cob toward the point of the knife. This is much easier than trying to cut straight down the cob with the middle of the knife. I learned this trick from Jacques Pepin. The man will teach you everything if you only let him. Use a good knife. I love my Global Chef's Knife. I use it pretty much every day for everything!
- I like to use little pinch bowls like these to prep my ingredients and have them ready when needed. These were very useful for the white wine butter sauce.