RECIPE: Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Spinach

In Spanish tapas bars, you’ll always find plates of shrimp sautéed with garlic. Add baby spinach—prewashed, ready for a salad—and slivers of red pepper to this quick version, serve with rice or pasta, and you have a colourful, complete meal. Or sop up the juices with a baguette, brushed with olive oil and grilled or popped under the broiler.

Serves: 3-4
Course: Dinner


  • 1 bag frozen peeled shrimp (454 g) or 1 lb/500 g fresh peeled shrimp
  • 2 tbsp butter (30 ml)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp hot chili-garlic sauce (7 ml) (or 1 tsp/5 ml hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried tarragon or herbes de Provence (see Tip below) (7 ml)
  • Generous pinch salt
  • 6-8 cups baby spinach (1.5–2 L) or 5-oz/150-g container baby spinach


If using frozen shrimp, place in a colander and defrost under cold running water, about 3 minutes. Drain well. In a wide skillet with deep sides, melt butter over low heat. Add garlic and sauté for 3 minutes, then add red pepper and continue sautéing for 3 minutes more.

Increase heat to medium and stir in chili sauce or hot pepper flakes. Add shrimp, tarragon or herbes de Provence, and salt. Stir-fry just until shrimp are hot and bright pink, 3–4 minutes. Stir in spinach leaves, a few handfuls at a time, just until slightly wilted.


Herbes de Provence is a blend of herbs found in—surprise—the south of France. It’s common in stews and on grilled meats. Mixes vary, but many contain lavender, which adds an appealing and unusual floral taste. Premixed herbes de Provence is available in the spice section of many supermarkets.