roasted shrimp with rosemary and thyme
We are blessed to have an abundance of fresh seafood available year round. We live in a town almost equidistant from both coasts of Florida. Cedar Key is just over an hour to our west, and St. Augustine is perhaps an hour and a half to our east. Fresh seafood is celebrated with festivals throughout the state, but especially in this part of northern Florida. Cedar Key will celebrate their 41st annual seafood festival this October. St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city, held their 29th annual seafood festival in March. There’s the Blue Crab Festival in Palatka and the Fiddler Crab Festival in Steinhatchee.
I think you get my point. Seafood is a big deal here.
When the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico happened a couple of weeks ago, we started wondering about the future of seafood in our area. Our seafood comes in part from the Gulf, and in part from the Atlantic Ocean – also potentially threatened by the oil spill. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty surrounding the long term effects of oil leak, but it’s certainly not a good thing. A well-written article by Kim Severson in the New York Times highlighted the fears of Gulf coast residents and the potential impact on the fishing and shrimping industry.
My mind has been on shrimp lately because of all of this, so I decided to roast some. It’s such a simple preparation that you don’t really need a recipe. In fact, all you need are some great shrimp, some olive oil, and some seasonings which you can vary to your taste. I used St. Augustine shrimp, the most common type we buy at our local seafood market.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and drizzle a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil over the peeled and deveined shrimp. Toss the shrimp with some kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, chopped fresh rosemary, and chopped fresh thyme. Spread them out on a sheet pan and roast them in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and firm and cooked through. I served mine with some cocktail sauce as an afternoon snack, but I’m sure they would be great in a simple pasta or risotto dish.