Saturday, March 16, 2013

BBQ'd Shrimp with Tomatoes and Pesto Dressing

Here is a delicious grilled shrimp recipe.  Jumbo shrimp are peeled, deveined and rubbed with a blend of smoked paprika, chile powder and spices.  They are charcoal grilled and served over fresh sliced heirloom tomatoes, slivered red onions and drizzled with a fresh basil pesto dressing. Yum!  The seasoned shrimp should be grilled quickly on skewers, but not over too high a heat. (The worse thing you can do to shrimp is to overcook them.) Overcooked shrimp have a rubbery texture and lose their natural flavor. Cook them over a “4-Mississippi” fire, meaning you should be able to hold your hand about two inches over the grill for about 4 seconds. They are done when their entire outside surface changes to a nice pink color.  Enjoy!


1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 to 3 heirloom or red ripe tomatoes, sliced 3/8” thick

1/2 red onion, sliced

For the seasoning rub:

2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp chile powder
1 Tbs light brown sugar
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried basil

For the Pesto:

1/3 cup basil leaves, packed
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
2 Tbs pine nuts, toasted
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper

In a food processor, puree the pesto ingredients.

Drizzle in enough good extra-virgin olive oil until the pesto is smooth, with a somewhat wet texture.  Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Light the grill and let the coals ash over. Wipe the grate with an oil-soaked paper towel to prevent the shrimp from sticking

Peel and devein the shrimp.

In a small bowl, combine the rub ingredients and mix well.  Coat the shrimp lightly with canola oil and the spice rub. Thread the seasoned shrimp onto bamboo skewers.

Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until they are they are lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes total.

Heirloom tomatoes give the dish both visual and textural appeal. Slice them and some additional fresh basil to use for garnish.

Arrange the tomato slices on the serving plates, add the sliced red onions and drizzle the basil pesto mixture over the tomatoes and onions.

Arrange several shrimp on top of the tomatoes, onion and pesto. Garnish with additional basil leaves, if desired.

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