" National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" Gamberoni alla Gondola

It's festive and delicious! What more could you ask for during the holidays.

You will need:

  • 1 cup uncooked white beans or cannellini beans (or 1- cups canned beans)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary, plus 2 or 3 rosemary sprigs
  • Approximately 25 fresh, large mint leaves without stems
  • 1 very small handful Italian parsley, stems removed
  • 12 very fresh, very large shrimp (U8s), shelled, with heads on if you can get them
  • 2 bunches, watercress, mache, or arugula, rinsed well and patted dry


1. Cover beans with cold water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook at a full boil for 3 minutes and then remove from heat. Cover and let soak 1 hour. Discard soaking liquid and cover with fresh water by at least 2 inches. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes to an hour adding salt to taste during the final 5 minutes of cooking time. When ready, the beans should be tender yet firm with skins still intact.

2. Drain well and toss with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, red onion, pepper flakes and chopped rosemary. Season beans to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper and set aside.

3. Bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop the mint and parsley leaves into the boiling water and cook 10-15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or mesh skimmer and plunge into an ice bath to cool. Drain the herbs, squeezing out excess water, add a pinch of salt and grind to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Add and grind in cup extra virgin olive oil a few drops at a time as you work. Pour mint mixture into a bowl and set aside.

4. Preheat grill. If using charcoal, allow white ash to form before grilling. Rinse shrimp and pat dry; brush lightly with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Toss rosemary sprigs onto the hot coals and grill shrimp not more than a minute or two per side until opaque and slightly firm to the touch.

5. In a mixing bowl, combine the white beans, red onions and salad greens. Toss with a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Mound salad mixture on 4 plates and arrange the grilled shrimp on top. Spoon mint oil on top of shrimp and drizzle on the plate. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Location: Hotel Europa

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