Pan-Seared Shrimp with Saffron-Tomato Sauce
Tender, pan-seared shrimp tossed in a light, saffron and tomato sauce make a flavorful, quick entree with a unique Spanish flair.
Don’t be turned off by saffron’s reputation for being the most expensive spice on the planet. Because its flavor is so potent, just a little goes a long way.
Saffron is the signature flavor in time-tested seafood dishes like bouillabaisse and paella, so it stands to reason that it made a perfect addition to our simple pan-seared shrimp with fresh tomato sauce.
We chose to serve this dish over Valencia rice, a short-grain variety that’s sometimes referred to as paella or Spanish rice.
To complement the saffron tomato sauce, we cooked the rice in low-sodium chicken broth, added a little butter and pinch of crushed saffron for extra flavor.
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled (tails left on) and deveined
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 medium shallots, very finely chopped
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Pinch of saffron threads, crushed (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 3 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until light golden in color, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the white wine and chicken broth, bring to a simmer, then add the saffron. Simmer for 1 minute, add the tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, add the fresh parsley and transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.
- Without wiping out the pan, increase the heat to medium-high and add the remaining tablespoon each of olive oil and butter. Once the butter and oil is hot, add the shrimp in a single layer.
- Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook until the first side is lightly browned, 1-1/2 minutes. Turn with tongs and continue cooking until browned on the second side and opaque through the center, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes longer.
- To serve, make a bed of rice on each plate, add a portion of shrimp and top with sauce.