Generally, it's either green beans or Brussels sprouts. And while both are fine vegetables, wouldn't it be nice if just once the token nod to something green on the table was something a little different? Wouldn't it be nice if in that sea of brown and beige (turkey, gravy, stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes) the green had some pizazz?
That was my inspiration this Thanksgiving, to create a fast and easy green dish that had lots of flavour and doesn't rely on the usual suspects.
The solution was a heaping tray of roasted peppery shrimp and edamame, creating an attractive and filling side dish that even could double as a main course for folks who don't care for turkey.
Because this recipe cooks so quickly — and at a much higher temperature than most of the meal's other dishes are likely to — leave it for last. When the turkey and trimmings come out of the oven, crank up the heat and pop in the baking sheet of edamame and shrimp. By the time the other foods are on the table, they should be done.
And yes, the recipe is correct — 2 tablespoons of black pepper. That's the point. And it is delicious.
ROASTED PEPPER SHRIMP WITH EDAMAME
Start to finish: 15 minutes
1-pound bag frozen shelled edamame
2 pounds raw peeled shrimp (thawed, if frozen)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Heat the oven to 450 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Place the edamame in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, or just long enough to slightly thaw. Pour off any liquid that has accumulated in the bowl, then transfer the edamame to the prepared baking sheet.
Add the shrimp to the baking sheet, then drizzle the oil over them and the edamame. Sprinkle with the pepper, salt and paprika. Use your hands to mix everything together, making certain the shrimp and edamame are well coated with the oil and seasonings. Arrange the ingredients in an even layer on the baking sheet.
Roast for 5 minutes, then use a spatula to turn the shrimp. Roast for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp are just pink and firm. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 100 calories from fat (40 per cent of total calories); 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 170 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 29 g protein; 890 mg sodium.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Food Editor J.M. Hirsch is author of the cookbook "High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking." Follow him to great eats on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch or email him at jhirsch(at)ap.org.