Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi
Meyer lemons replace regular lemons to update this old classic. A quick sauté on your stove top makes Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi the perfect, elegant, weeknight meal!
Meyer lemons are a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange….like the mutt of the citrus world. They are a lot less sour than a regular lemon making them great to tone down the pucker in a lot of lemony dishes. They’re perfect for baked goods because you can use a little less sugar since you don’t need to balance out the tartness of a traditional lemon and Meyer lemon juice is the perfect substitute in your iced tea. Try it…just do it once. 🙂
I love them so much I decided to grow a Meyer Lemon tree. I started with just a cutting and….I don’t have a green thumb….I had low hopes from the start. But this cutting grew into the most amazing 6 foot tree! It was healthy and full, it was thriving! I was proud! Many pats on the back for me. For ten years, I tried and tried to get this bugger to flower. I tried everything…..iron, acid, regular tap water, distilled water, Miracle Grow. I fought spider mites, aphids, mealy bugs….winning every battle. Every.single.time. But still….no flowers or fruit. I finally asked the owner of the local greenhouse what could be the problem and he said, “It’s probably male.” Go figure. I won’t tell you what happened to the tree after that. It’s no longer part of the family.
I still have to buy my Meyer Lemons at the farmer’s market or grocery store. As much as I’d love “fresh from the tree lemons”….it seems it was just a pipe dream. They’re season is short so I recommend buying them if you see them. I try to stock up as much as I can but lately they’re a little hard to come by.
I was lucky enough to score 6 (woohoo!) at the grocery store the other day. That’s all they had….they must be savored. And that’s why I only used two in this Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi! (Not really….I only ever use two lemons in this recipe but I wanted to add drama to my story.) If you can’t find Meyer Lemons you can use one mandarin orange and one regular lemon in the recipe.
Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi comes together in minutes. It took longer to peel and devein the shrimp….recommendation, buy peeled and deveined shrimp at the store and you will save about 10-15 minutes of prep time. Make sure the shrimp are dried so they get a good sear, I do this by laying them all out on a paper towel and blotting them dry. You can season them on the paper towel and just toss the mess in the trash when you’re done.
Another recommendation…..serve the Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi with some crusty bread for dipping in the sauce. The pasta in the picture is only a serving suggestion….if you choose the pasta route you will need to top off the finished dish with some extra virgin olive oil since the pasta will soak up every last drop of the sauce. And freshly grated parmesan cheese…..always, always add parmesan cheese. Always. Or top with a bunch of these parmesan crisps if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (I use California Olive Ranch)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Meyer lemons, zest and juice (I used Sunkist)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine ( I used Pinot Grigio)
- 1/4 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- Spread the shrimp on a paper towel and blot to dry. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and frothy. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until bright pink. Turn the shrimp over and cook an additional two minutes. (Do not crowd the pan, you may need to cook the shrimp in two batches.) Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add the garlic and zest to the pan and cook for 1 minute, stir in the wine, lemon juice, stock and remaining butter and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes until the sauce is reduced by half.
- Add the shrimp and parsley back to the pan tossing to coat with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.