Sweet Apricot Shrimp with Fennel and Chopped Walnuts


Sweet Apricot Shrimp with Fennel and Chopped Walnuts ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.



1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed

6 to 8 big cloves garlic, cut into slivers

to 1 1/2 pounds large or jumbo shrimp, peeled, rinsed, and dried. (ask that they be cleaned and de-veined by your fish market) I got mine from FreshDirect already cooked.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to your taste)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

Pinch of either cayenne or red chili flakes (don’t breath in the chili flakes, when cooking)

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed (optional)

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (same some for garnish) 1Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (save some for garnish)

5-6 Mini-apricots, leave skins on

1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped after toasting

Pinch Salt and pepper (optional)

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced with mandolin

3 Tablespoons Canola oil

2 or 3 Tablespoons champagne vinegar



Prepare the Walnuts

Toast the walnuts in a hot pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a tiny bit of chicken stock. Stir the nuts constantly so they don’t burn. When they turn a golden brown, remove from pan onto some paper towel and set aside. When nuts are cool, chop them into coarse pieces (not too big or too small)


Prepare the Mini-apricots

Wash, dry on paper towel and cut in half. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Cook the herbs and spices

Warm the olive oil in a large, broad ovenproof skillet or heatproof baking pan over low heat. There should be enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan; don’t skimp. Add the garlic slivers and cook until garlic turns golden, a few minutes.


Raise the heat to medium-high and add pinch salt and pepper, the cumin and turmeric and all of the spices and herbs. Stir to blend and add the walnuts, fennel, olive oil, champagne vinegar, pinch kosher salt, pinch black pepper. Gently stir to combine. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes. Cover until you’re ready to add the shrimp.


Add Shrimp

If you didn’t or couldn’t buy already cooked shrimp, add your uncooked (trimmed and deveined) shrimp to the pan and continue to cook, shaking the pan once or twice and turning the shrimp once or twice, until they are golden brown all over and the mixture is bubbly, 3 to 6 minutes. Do not overcook or the seafood will be rubbery.


Just before serving, add the fresh mini-apricots to the hot seafood and stir into all the spices, herbs, nuts and shrimp, just to warm it up.


Garnish with herbs and serve immediately with jasmine or basmati saffron rice.




Make some fresh asparagus to go with the shrimp and rice.   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc


Cook the asparagus in the same pan used for the shrimp dish. Cook in olive oil and lemon. Just cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring.


My plan for this summer is to create and adapt lots of shrimp recipes, because shrimp is easy to cook, delicious, excellent source of protein and low in calories. This recipe is one that I experimented with. I found that using champagne vinegar instead of red wine vinegar was better. Also, peaches are not at their peak yet, but sweet mini-apricots are. I tried this dish with peaches and didn’t like it as well as with the mini-apricots, which are delicious now and available at FreshDirect.


Everything on this page is quick and easy to cook. It’s your decision whether or not to buy your shrimp already cooked. I have shopped around and find that Food Emporium and Dean and DeLuca cooked shrimp are not that good (all are over cooked) but each time I buy cooked shrimp from FreshDirect, they are perfect, so why do extra cooking in the summer?


My husband and I loved this whole meal of the Apricot Shrimp served with jasmine saffron rice and barely cooked local fresh asparagus. We also discovered a new low-priced New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (2011),Cloudy Bay, which we recommend highly. We buy most of our wine from Sherry-Lehmann in Manhattan. Each month they recommend excellent new wines that don’t break the bank. This is one of them, that we tried and will now be sure to have more on hand. It awakens your taste buds with smooth silky smokey rivulets of fantastic flavor.


For those who like to know what’s going on in the Big Apple , we saw some extraordinary acting and singingon Saturday at The Circle in the Square, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Lounge“ starring the incredibly talented Audra McDonald, playing the role of her life, as Billy Holiday. McDonald won a 2014 Tony Award for this role, which is her 6th or 7th Tony Award, with good reason. Audra McDonald with her amazingly flexible, gorgeous and flawless voice, was able to reproduce the velvet soulful sounds of Billy Holiday. McDonald has a rare acting talent, so artful and passionate, you suspend your disbelief and for a while, are in the company of that other genius, Billy Holiday. We recommend this show highly. For us, it was a remarkable experience.




From our table to yours


Bon Appetit !


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