Shrimp, tomato, and basil “pizza”
This dish is very similar to a real pizza, but the texture of the phylo crust makes it more refined.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 54 uncooked medium shrimp (about 3 pounds/ 1.4 kg) peeled, deveined, and sliced in half horizontally
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- 36 long saffron threads
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
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Step 1: Tomato confit
Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 5 seconds, then dip ice water until cold.
Peel, cut in half crosswise, and squeeze out the seeds. Finely chop the tomatoes and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallots, lower the heat slightly, and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme and rosemary. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes.
Take out the thyme and simmer until the mixture is thick, about 8 minutes longer.
Step 2: Pastry
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190°C). Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth until needed. Brush with melted butter and top with another sheet of phyllo. Repeat until all of the phyllo and butter are used.
Using a ring as a guide, cut out 6 circles of phyllo, discarding the scraps. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and put the phyllo circles on the pan (bake in two batches if necessary to fit).
Cover with another sheet of parchment, pressing the paper into the phyllo. Bake until the pastry is well browned, about 12 minutes. Set aside.
Step 3: Shrimp
Using the ring as a guide, cut 12 circles of parchment paper. Brush 6 of these with butter. Put the ring over one of the buttered rounds as a guide to keep the shrimp in an even circle. Arrange the shrimp halves in a radial pattern on top of the parchment, cut side down, as close together as possible so they completely cover the paper. Repeat with the remaining shrimp, covering the 6 buttered papers. Press the unbuttered parchment rounds over the shrimp. Place the shrimp rounds on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 550ºF (290°C). Work quickly from this point or the pastry will get soggy. Spread the tomato confit on the phyllo rounds. Pull the top sheet of parchment off the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. Invert the shrimp rounds over the phyllo, so the edges line up perfectly. Pull off the parchment.
Be sure not to over-cook the shrimp as they will curl up on the pizza.
Season the top of the shrimp with salt and pepper and sprinkle very lightly with cayenne. Scatter the saffron and thyme over the shrimp and drizzle each pizza with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
Put on a baking sheet (or divide between two) and bake until the shrimp turns pink, about 5 minutes. Scatter the basil over the pizzas and drizzle another ½ teaspoon of oil over each one. Place on plates and serve immediately.
This recipe was originally published in "My Best Eric Ripert" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits
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